Northern calls for talks with the RMT Union in fresh bid to call of three days of planned strike action
Arriva Rail North, which operates Northern, has formally invited the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) to continue its recent talks under the guidance of the independent conciliation service ACAS.
The company is hoping an agreement can be found over the role of guards on trains - as well as three days of planned strike action for three upcoming Saturdays.
All Arriva Rail North conductor, conductor instructor and train driver members have been instructed to not work between 00.01am and 23:59pm on each of Saturday, August 25; Saturday, September 1; and Saturday, September 8.
David Brown, Managing Director for Arriva Rail North said: “Over the last few weeks, further positive talks have taken place to find a resolution to RMT’s ongoing dispute.
"Having invited RMT to continue these talks this week, it is very disappointing the union has announced further strikes on 25 August, 1 and 8 September.
“We can only resolve this dispute by working jointly through meaningful talks. I am fully committed to finding a joint solution which is why I have invited RMT to these ACAS mediated talks.”
Mr Brown added: “As part of this modernisation, we want to work with our train crews to agree how we can operate more flexibly and deliver services that better meet the changing needs of our customers.
"This is why we have been holding talks with RMT in the hope of ultimately delivering for our customers through new, modern working arrangements.
“I have also called on them to suspend their planned industrial action to allow these talks to take place and not disrupt our customers over three busy weekends.
"There are many events planned for the Bank Holiday and I hope that the union will consider the many families making plans for the last weekend of the summer holidays.”
The union said it will review the strikes depending on how negotiations progress but is not prepared to call off the planned action.