Strikes until the end of the year! RMT confirm more Northern Rail strikes

Northern 319 at Kirkham and Wesham with a service to Blackpool North
Credit: RailAdvent

RMT has today announced more strike dates that will be taking place on Northern Rail during November and December.

The strike is in the long-running dispute over the role of guards and rail safety and comes as members gear up for the 34th day of action on Saturday‎

Currently, Northern is striking on both the 3rd and 10th November 2018.

However, the newly confirmed dates will take passengers suffering from disruption each Saturday until the end of the year.

The additional dates that RMT members are instructed to not to book on are for any shifts that commence between:-

  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Saturday 17th November 2018
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Saturday 24th November 2018
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Saturday 1st December 2018
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Saturday 8th December 2018
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Saturday 15th December 2018
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Saturday 22nd December 2018
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Saturday 29th December 2018
What did the officials say?

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“RMT continues to make every effort to get serious and meaningful talks going with Northern but the company are not interested and would prefer to continue to bury their heads in the sand regardless of the impact on the travelling public.

“German-owned Northern Rail want to run nearly half a million trains a year without a safety critical guard on board in a move that would wreck both safety and access ‎to services and they should listen to their front-line staff and pull back from that plan immediately.

“RMT has secured agreements on other English franchises that enshrine the guard guarantee. Similar agreements have also been reached in Wales and Scotland. Arriva Rail North need to do the right thing and come to an agreement that secures a guard on their trains too.

“We thank the public for their support and understanding throughout this dispute over rail safety and access and the union remains ready for genuine and serious talks.”

David Brown, Managing Director of Northern, said:

“In a recent letter to the RMT General Secretary, I called on the union to reconvene talks. RMT will need to demonstrate that they are serious about making progress by suspending industrial action and agreeing to discuss the options that they themselves put forward during the first ACAS talks in September. To date, we have not received a response to this proposal.

“During those talks, the RMT changed its mind about what it would discuss between the first and second meetings, making it impossible to progress. We have offered to explore all options, including those RMT has agreed with other train operators, but they refuse to discuss these with Northern. I am still waiting for a response to my call to them asking them to get back round table and find a solution to their dispute.

“Instead, they have responded by cynically targeting the weekends in November and December to hit Christmas markets and important seasonal events. Not only will this include the 19th consecutive Saturday of RMT strike action but also 42nd day of strike action. RMT’s strikes are causing more and more unnecessary difficulty and inconvenience for our customers and significant loss of earnings for their members.

“Our offer to resume ACAS talks remains open and we will meet the union anytime, anywhere. We challenge the union to suspend their action and come back to the table.”

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  1. Northern need to stop having strikes. Or get the government to take over the franchise and to get staff to pay. Northern Trains are a disgrace.

  2. Beyond a joke now, I have lost all support for them. You are now ruining loads of peoples Christmas plans, why not try running stikes on different days so you start effecting season ticket holders maybe then Northern might take notice

  3. I have given up on using trains in the North of England, the strikes are the final straw that is driving customers back onto the roads, either in their cars, or like me into the willing arms of National Express and Megabus. National coaches are very often full up during most Saturdays between Manchester and Leeds/Liverpool/Blackpool. The next fare increase in early 2019 will just make the exodus to the roads even worse.

  4. I support the reason for the strikes but come on it’s getting ridiculous now. The only people who are being punished are the customers. The strikes are not affecting talks and things don’t seem any further forward than they were two years ago. How many of my plans have to be cancelled because of this? It’s an absolute disgrace!

  5. This is now pathetic and totally unacceptable. Sack the drivers for refusing to work. Who do they think they are holding the North West to ransom? The Christmas Markets in Manchester will suffer as a result of their disgusting behaviour not to mention the shops struggling for Christmas trade over the weekend. 30% of trains in this country run fine without guards safely. I have lost all support for the drivers so I hope they are replaced asap.

  6. I’ve lost my job due to the run of Saturday strikes – no rail replacement buses on my local line and the alternative is three separate bus journeys that couldn’t get me there on time unless I used a time machine. Why strike just on Saturdays? It’s cruel and affects hardworking people and families. It’s the customers using the trains that keep the northern staff in work or have they forgotten that? They aren’t getting rid of the guards anyway they are just wanting them to sell tickets and give information – they just won’t be opening the doors anymore the drivers will. So what exactly are they striking for? They aren’t losing their jobs – lucky them. Get your act together and stop behaving like children. This strike is like a game of noughts and crosses – there aren’t any winners.

  7. Why don’t you get your act together and stop behaving like children? This strike is like a game of noughts and crosses – there aren’t any winners. It’s cruel to just strike on Saturdays – it affects hardworking people and families. Have the guards forgotten that if it wasnt for the customers using the trains they wouldn’t have jobs in the first place? Northern aren’t getting rid of the guards anyway – they just want them to sell tickets and give out information – they just won’t be opening the doors anymore, the drivers will.

  8. The guards are pretty useless anyway. They constantly tell you they can’t sell tickets because their machine is broken and they rarely make station announcements. A woman on my train was harrassed by a drunken passenger and when she asked the guard to intervene he told her the transport police would deal with it at the end of the line!!! It was fellow passengers that helped her out. The guards want to try living in mytholmroyd and working in Dewsbury, the train is the only way to get there as it isn’t on a bus route and I don’t drive. “Try using alternative transport ” my a**e there isn’t any.


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