Belfast Telegraph

Arriva Rail North workers to strike over driver-only trains

Workers on Arriva Rail North are to stage a fresh 24-hour strike in a row about driver-only trains.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk out on Friday April 28 after talks failed to break the deadlocked dispute.

Union members went on strike last Saturday as part of a union campaign against new driver-controlled trains being introduced from 2020.

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 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 put on this further day of strike action.

"RMT commends our Arriva Rail North members on their rock-solid display of strength, resolve and unity during the action so far in opposition to the introduction of driver-controlled operation and defence of the guards to guarantee a safer, securer and more accessible railway for all.

"The union continues to remain available for meaningful discussions with the company in order to seek a satisfactory resolution to the ongoing dispute."

Richard Allan, deputy managing director of Northern, said: "We are very disappointed that the union has announced strike action. More than anything, we are sorry for the disruption it will again cause our customers but we have robust contingency plans in place to keep our customers on the move where possible.

"Everyone has a big role to play in shaping our modernisation plans. There is a lot to discuss and we urge RMT to get back round the table with an open mind as soon as possible.

"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."