Union announces upcoming rail strikes

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Transport union RMT have announced strikes in separate disputes over the ‘attack’ on the role of guards and the extension of driver only operated trains.

Arriva Rail North and Merseyrail workers are set to strike on November 8 for 24 hours.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Every single effort that RMT has made to reach negotiated settlements in these separate disputes with the different train operating companies over safe operation and safe staffing has been kicked back in our faces and we are left with no option but to confirm a further phase of industrial action in early November.

“It is frankly ludicrous that we have been able to negotiate long-term arrangements in Scotland and Wales that protect the guards and passenger safety but we are being denied the same opportunities with rail companies in England. This suspension of normal industrial relations by the employers has to end if we are to make progress towards a solution that guarantees safe rail travel for all.

"RMT is demanding today that the Government lift the central blockade on talks, allow us to negotiate freely with their contractors and give us the opportunity to pursue the objective of a guard guarantee that puts British passenger safety before the rank exploitation of our rail network by overseas operators who are laughing all the way to the bank.

“RMT stands ready for talks in each of these separate disputes.”

As well as Arriva Rail North and Merseyrail, workers on Southern, Greater Anglia, South Western Railways and Island Line will stage a 48-hour walkout from November 8.