Northern, Southern and Merseyrail strikes set for September


Arriva Rail North trainImage copyright
Northern Rail

Image caption

Arriva runs its Northern services across north-west and north-east England, Cumbria and the East Midlands

Further rail strikes have been set for next month to coincide with schools going back in the row over driver-only-operated trains.

Arriva Rail North, Merseyrail and Southern RMT staff will walk out from Friday 1 September with the last strike on Monday 4 September.

The RMT said no progress had been made over the future of the role of guards, due to safety and job loss fears.

Arriva Rail North said it is prepared to guarantee jobs.

‘Round-table talks’

Arriva Rail North – which operates under the brand Northern – and Southern workers will walk out on Friday, 1 September and Monday, 4 September.

Staff at Merseyrail will be on strike on 1 September, 3 September and 4 September.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT is bitterly disappointed that Southern Rail have rejected our call for round-table discussions involving all parties with an interest in resolving this dispute.”

After a meeting with Northern bosses Mr Cash said the “responsibility for the inevitable disruption lies wholly with the company”.

He added: “It is disgraceful that Merseyrail continue to refuse all reasonable attempts by the union to settle this dispute.

“RMT has a clear plan for resolving this dispute but that requires round-table talks now to push forwards.”

Alan Chaplin, Northern’s managing director said: “Northern is prepared to guarantee jobs and current pay for all our conductors for the next eight years, until the end of our franchise. Our offers to discuss every detail on the future responsibilities and training for on-board colleagues have been rejected by RMT.”

Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, Merseyrail’s managing director, said: “The RMT say this dispute is about safety. But a recent industry report (RSSB, Risk associated with train dispatch, July 2017) states that: ‘… there is no additional risk for passengers boarding and alighting driver-controlled operation/driver-only operation trains, and indeed that trains without a guard actually appear to lower overall dispatch related safety risk to passengers.”

Southern has also been approached for comment.



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