Northern Rail have issued a revised timetable and Transdev are running more buses on the 36 service to Leeds.
Discussions between the union, RMT and Northern Rail have temporarily broken down, with a key issue being around guards. The RMT want assurance that guards are to remain before discussions reconvene – they believe it is a safety issue.
Northern have said that running services without guards has been independently proven as safe and currently don’t even have rolling stock that they can do that on and have no planned loss of staff – they believe that strike action is premature.
See the revised Northern Rail timetable for 13 March 2017
Do you agree with the strike action today ?
A spokesman for Northern said: As our modernisation proposals are still in the early stages, it is a shame that RMT has announced strike action for Monday 13 March. Our aim is to reach a constructive resolution and we urge RMT to continue the talks we have already started.
We want to protect jobs and pay, and during our recent discussions we offered to consult fully with our people, customers and key stakeholders.
If strike action goes ahead, our customers can be reassured that we have plans in place to keep them moving. During any strike action, we plan to run a revised service. Please check northernrailway.co.uk for the services that are running.
The RMT say that Arriva Rail North have bid for routes on the basis that the majority can be operated without guards.
General Secretary Mick Cash said: RMT’s action on Arriva Rail North this morning is absolutely rock solid and determined as our members fight for passenger safety and the retention of the guard on the Northern Rail services. Our pickets are out across the franchise and the response has been fantastic.
Arriva Rail North should listen to their staff, listen to the public and recognise that there is no case whatsoever for axing the guard from their trains.
This action could have been avoided if Arriva hadn’t back pedalled from earlier pledges to retain the guard. It is now down to the company to get that pledge back on the table and engage with the union in talks over a safe and sustainable future built around the guarantee of a guard on the trains.