Rail strike to go ahead as union talks collapse

There will be picket lines at many stations
There will be picket lines at many stations
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A rail strike on Friday will go ahead following a collapse in talks.

RMT members will stage a third walkout on Northern in an ongoing row over changes to the role of guards.

Northern will operate a limited service

Northern will operate a limited service

The union says it is angry and frustrated that the company had rejected point blank a proposal to invite Transport Department officials to join in three way talks in an attempt to reach a solution.

Workers from Northern will join RMT rail colleagues from across the country at a national protest at Westminster at noon today against Driver Only Operation which marks the first anniversary of the dispute ‎on Southern Rail.

The RMT has accused Arriva, owned by German state railway Deutsche Bahn of 'digging its heels in' over plans to introduce a minimum of 50 per cent driver controlled operation across the franchise upon the introduction of the new rolling stock – a move that is unacceptable to the union.

RMT General secretary Mick Cash said: "The sheer intransigence of Arriva Rail North means that the action this Friday goes ahead as planned.

"The responsibility for the inevitable disruption lies wholly with the company.

"We are angry and frustrated that Arriva have thrown out a perfectly reasonable proposal to invite the DfT to join us in three way talks aimed at finding a solution.

“The public, who support RMT’s campaign for a guarantee of a guard on their trains, will be appalled that Arriva Rail North have failed yet again to offer any kind of progress whatsoever in the talks and have instead opted to try and bulldoze through their plans regardless.

"It is that flagrant disregard for the safety issues at the heart of the dispute which leaves us with no option but to press ahead with the campaign of strike action.

“The union continues to remain available for meaningful discussions with the company in order to seek a satisfactory resolution to the on-going dispute.”

Picket lines are expected across the region and Northern is expected to operate less than half of its normal timetable with services starting later and ending earlier.

Blackpool will have an hourly services to Manchester Airport and Burnley Central.

No trains will run from Blackpool South.

Passengers are being warned those trains which do operate are likely to be heavily loaded.

In a statement Northern said: "We expect to run more than 40 per cent of our normal timetable, and more than 300 additional rail replacement buses.

"All services are expected to be extremely busy, with industrial action taking place on the Friday before the bank holiday weekend and the first day of the Tour de Yorkshire cycle event."