RMT announces three new rail strikes … on the same day

rmt-southern-strike

rmt-southern-rail-parliament-demoThe RMT has announced strike action in three separate disputes – at Arriva Rail North, Merseyrail and Southern Rail – over the same issue of driver-only trains.

The union wants to retain guards on trains to protect passenger safety and will take three 24 hour strikes on May 30.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “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 on with the campaign of strike action.

“Merseyrail are completely ignoring the clear wishes of their own passengers, who overwhelmingly oppose the idea of Driver Only Operated trains on their network. That pig-headed attitude has forced the union’s hand and the idea that we would compromise on the fundamental issue of rail safety is absurd.

“RMT members on Southern Rail have been fighting for safety and access to rail services for over a year now. We have met with the company but there is a massive gap of over 8,000 trains a year that GTR have confirmed will run without an OBS on board.  That represents a serious safety and accessibility risk and short of the guarantee of a second safety qualified member of staff on Southern services we have no option but to confirm a further day of strike action.

“It is now down to Southern/GTR, and the contract holders in the government, to face up to their responsibilities and engage in genuine and serious talks that address our issues.”

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