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Rail workers ‘solidly supporting’ strike in dispute over guards

Picket lines have been mounted outside railway stations, with little sign of any breakthrough in the disputes.

Rail workers are said to be solidly supporting a strike in the bitter disputes over the role of guards, causing fresh disruption to services.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at Arriva Rail North (Northern) walked out for 24 hours.

Picket lines were mounted outside railway  stations, with little sign of any breakthrough in the disputes, now affecting five train operators.

Northern, which was running services between 7am and 7pm because of the strike, said it wanted to reach a deal with the union over staffing on new trains.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT members are standing firm and united again this morning on picket lines across Arriva Rail North as the fight for rail safety the length and breadth of the franchise enters its second year.

“It is a tribute to the determination and professionalism of RMT members that they have remained rock solid for over a year now in what is a battle to put public safety before private profit.

“German-owned Northern Rail want to run 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 agreed arrangements in Wales and Scotland that enshrine the guard guarantee.

“If it’s good enough for Wales and Scotland to have safe rail services it should be good enough for the rest of Britain.

“ARN should get out of the bunker and start talking.”

Meanwhile, talks will be held on Monday to try to avert a strike later this week by RMT members on London’s Docklands Light Railway.

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