UK Northern Rail: Guards row sparks fresh strikes

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GB news 24 desk//

Passengers on Northern Rail services are facing further disruption with a fresh strike in a long-running dispute over guards on trains.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union are staging a 24-hour stoppage, with further walkouts planned for Thursday and Saturday.

The company said it would run as many services as possible between 07:00 and 19:00 BST.

The union claims imposing driver-only services is a risk to public safety.

Regional director for Northern, Sharon Keith, said: “On each day of the strike action we will be running fewer services and expect those services we do operate to be extremely busy.

“It is, therefore, vital that anyone thinking of travelling with Northern on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday plans their journey carefully.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “It’s another day and another rail scandal under [Transport Secretary] Chris Grayling.

“Instead of propping up a foreign owned company in its fight against British workers, Chris Grayling should be allowing meaningful discussions to take place which would allow passengers to keep a second member of staff on every train.”

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “This dispute is not about jobs or safety. Guards have been guaranteed their jobs and the independent rail regulator has ruled that driver-controlled trains, which have been used in this country for 30 years, are safe.

“We urge the union to abandon these strikes, work with the train operator and make passengers’ services their number one priority.”

RMT members on South Western Railway were due to strike for three days from Thursday in the same dispute, however that action has been suspended following talks at the conciliation service Acas.

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