Talks fail to avert new rail strike

Northern Rail services will be affected by this latest walkout
Northern Rail services will be affected by this latest walkout

Talks held ahead of strike action this week in the on-going dispute over train guards and safety on Arriva Rail North have failed to halt the walkout.

Rail union RMT was taking part in talks with train operator Northern Rail on Friday.

But the talks ended with no signs of any progresss.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:“The abject failure of Arriva Rail North bosses to take today’s talks seriously means that the action next week goes ahead and the disruption that will be unleashed will be entirely down to the companies failure to engage with the union.

“RMT negotiators entered today’s talks in good faith but it was soon clear Norther‎n Rail were just going through the motions. This dispute is about public safety and the fact that Northern can’t or won’t grasp that basic fact leaves us with no option but to strike next week. Passengers will understand that the key issue is about putting public safety before private profit and we thank them for their contiuning support.”

Train operator Northern has published revised train times to keep customers on the move during RMT’s latest strike action.

Northern plans to run more than 1,300 services, concentrating its efforts on running as many trains as possible between 0700 and 1900 to get customers into work and home again.

Meanwhile, a strike by workers on South Western Railway is to go ahead after talks failed.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union will walk out for 48 hours from Wednesday causing disruption to services.

The union said it asked the company during Thursday’s meeting to guarantee a safety critical guard on trains.

Strikes will also be held next week at Southern, Greater Anglia, Merseyrail and ArrivaRail North in similar disputes.