Rail workers to walk out on strike

Northern Rail, Cross Country and East Midlands trains are affected
Northern Rail, Cross Country and East Midlands trains are affected

Northern Rail workers will go on strike in a row over jobs and safety.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union backed walkouts by 80 per cent and other forms of industrial action by 90 per cent.

Northern Rail, which runs trains across the north of England, said the dates of the strike are still to be established.

It will then be able to tell customers what services will be affected.

The union said it is in dispute over a number of issues, including the removal of permanent posts and the creation of zero-hour jobs via a contract with a security company, cuts to booking offices and attacks on the role and responsibility of train guards.

The union said Northern Rail had also not given a commitment that there will be no compulsory redundancies beyond the end of its current franchise in February 2016.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: “RMT has made every effort to win assurances from Northern Rail over jobs, services and safety. However, the company continues to ride roughshod over our efforts.

“We therefore had no option but to ballot all staff for action to force the company to take these issues seriously and the members have now voted decisively for action.

“The union is committed to ending the two-tier workforce that the security contract creates and calls for all workers to be brought in-house on decent pay and conditions.

“We are also committed to keeping ticket offices open and defending guards’ jobs, which are safety-critical.

“The RMT remains available for talks and we expect the company to now take this dispute, and the issues at the heart of it, seriously.”

The RMT said 1,500 of its members are involved in the dispute.