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RMT to target Grayling over ‘total chaos’ on railway network

The union said its members will try to meet the Transport Secretary at a regional transport summit in Manchester later this month.

Under-fire Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is to face a protest by rail workers over the “chaos” and industrial disputes in the industry.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union said its members will try to meet the minister at a regional transport summit in Manchester later this month.

Northern services have suffered delays and cancellations since new timetables were introduced last month, while the RMT is embroiled in a long-running dispute over the role of guards.

The union has announced three more strikes for this month.

Mick Cash says the Transport Secretary has presided over rail ‘chaos’ (Nick Ansell/PA)

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “We have seen over the past three weeks that Northern is a company which has declared war on its passengers and staff alike.

“RMT will not stand aside while the threat to axe safety critical guards from Northern services remains central to the company plans.

“This company has reduced the timetable to total chaos and the union will not allow them to slash the safety culture to ribbons in the same fashion.

“We are calling out Chris Grayling, who has presided over the rail chaos, and will be taking frontline rail workers to meet with him at this northern event.”

Mick Whelan, general secretary of the train drivers union Aslef, said: “Theresa May and the Transport Secretary, referred to by colleagues in the Conservative Party these days as Failing Grayling, are badly letting down passengers in the north of England.

“The fault lies with Mr Grayling, the Department for Transport, Network Rail and Northern Rail, which does not employ enough drivers to deliver the service it promised in its franchise application.

“It started training drivers – giving drivers the route knowledge they need – far too late. It makes a mockery of the idea of a Northern Powerhouse. The lack of investment in rail in the north is an utter disgrace.”

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