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Rail strike to go ahead as talks break down

Rail strike to go ahead as talks break down

Published at 11:04am 26th April 2017. (Updated at 12:42pm 26th April 2017)

A 24-hour strike involving Northern rail workers is set to go ahead as planned.

Talks to try and resolve a row over the role of guards have broken down, with RMT union members due to walk out on Friday.

Richard Allan, Deputy Managing Director of Arriva Rail North, said: "It is disappointing that RMT was unwilling to move from its current position during our talks yesterday.

"Our employees want us to talk about changes we need to make to the on-board role as we modernise our railway.

"We believe we would keep a second person on many of our services and, at some locations, we may choose to staff the station to give better support to customers.

"In addition to protecting jobs and current pay, we are also willing to offer future, annual pay reviews for existing conductors if we can agree a deal with RMT.

"It is hugely disappointing that RMT is making demands rather than working with us to develop our plans.

"There is so much to discuss and we urge them to get back round the table."

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash has blamed Arriva Rail North's "sheer intransigence" for the failure of talks.

He said: "The responsibility for the inevitable disruption lies wholly with the company. We are angry and frustrated that Arriva have thrown out a perfectly reasonable proposal to invite the DfT to join us in three-way talks aimed at finding a solution. 

"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 ahead with the campaign of strike action."

You can find out how services will be affected by the strike at www.northernrailway.co.uk/industrial-action