Rail strike set to go ahead this weekend

A Northern train.
A Northern train.

Rail strike action is set to go ahead over the weekend.

A dispute between Northern and the RMT union means that a reduced number of trains will be operating on Saturday.

The fallout comes over the core principles of the role and responsibilities of the second person on the train.

The union argued today that the company failed to respond by noon to a request for urgent talks

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT made it clear that we needed a formal response from Northern Rail by noon today to the core principles around the role and responsibilities of the second person on their trains.

"We are angry and frustrated that no such response has been forthcoming and as a result of the company’s failure the action goes ahead tomorrow exactly as planned.

"It has only been the resilience of RMT members and our supporters from the ‎travelling public whose solidarity and determination have been instrumental in getting the focus of the dispute back on to the guarantee of a second person on the train.

"It is deeply disappointing that the company have failed today to meet the union’s call to move the issues forwards.”

Northern says it has written to the RMT inviting it to recommence ACAS talks.

A Northern spokesperson said: “Northern has invited RMT to talks at ACAS in order to resolve its dispute.

"We are pleased that RMT has agreed to recommence talks at ACAS with no pre-conditions and we look forward to resolving this long-running dispute.

"Those talks can build on recent public statements made by Transport for the North and Department for Transport on the customer service and other benefits that will come about with a second person retained on Northern services in the future.

"We want to make it clear to customers that the timetable for tomorrow, cannot now be changed because it takes a number of days to reinstate a normal timetable.

"Regardless of whether RMT continues its dispute tomorrow, the Northern service tomorrow will be the revised timetable of around 700 services, between 8am – 5pm.”