Strike action by the RMT trade union will once again affect Northern Rail services on Monday 8 January, Wednesday 10 January and Friday 12 January.
The Company plans to run around 1,350 services each strike day, just over 50 per cent of their normal timetable with a number of other train operating companies, including Arriva Trains Wales and East Midlands Trains making additional stops on strike days.
The continuing dispute is over the future role of conductors on Northern Trains.
In a statement the RMT Union, said that although it made it clear that they were prepared to open up a range of discussions around operational models already established in successful negotiations in Scotland and Wales the company maintained their pre-conditions that the union had to accept Driver Controlled Operation and a future where at least half of Northern trains run without a second safety critical member of staff on board.
The company proposals would mean nearly half a million trains a year running on Northern without the crucial safety guarantee of the second, safety-critical member of staff on board says the union adding that it is this dogmatic and irresponsible attitude to the talks process by Arriva Rail North that effectively collapsed a genuine opportunity offered by the union to make serious progress in negotiations yesterday. As a result next week’s action goes ahead as planned and the blame for the disruption caused will rest squarely with Arriva.
In a statement the Company have said that:
“RMT’s strike action comes as we are in the process of modernising our network. The programme will see 98 new trains, 243 updated trains, faster and more frequent services, more space for customers, and better stations. We have to make changes to the on-board conductor role and in the future we want to make staff more visible and available. Northern is still prepared to guarantee jobs and pay for conductors for the next eight years if we can reach an agreement with RMT on how our colleagues can deliver better customer service. The Government has also guaranteed the employment of conductors beyond 2025 and into the next franchise if RMT ends its dispute.”