RMT announces new strikes in May

THE RMT has announced further strikes on Northern, Greater Anglia and South Western Railway in the continuing disputes over driver-only operation.

RMT members at all three franchises will strike for 24 hours on Wednesday 9 May. In addition, members on South Western Railway will also strike for 24 hours on 11, 14, 16 and 18 May.

The union has been demonstrating outside Parliament today to mark the second anniversary of the DOO dispute on Southern.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Yet again the intransigence of private rail companies operating in England over the key issue of the guard guarantee means that we have no option but to announce further strike action.

“With RMT members protesting outside Parliament today we are drawing attention to the ludicrous situation that means we are able to reach agreements in Wales and Scotland on the guard guarantee but not on key franchises in England. If it’s good enough for Wales and Scotland to put rail safety first then it should be good enough for the rest of Britain.

“We have long detected the dead hand of the Government interfering to stop us reaching negotiated settlements in the current disputes and it’s about time Chris Grayling stopped playing politics with passenger safety and started taking the issue seriously. RMT remains available for genuine and meaningful talks in each of these disputes.”

The Rail Delivery Group pointed out that drivers already control the doors on 52 per cent of trains in Britain.

Chief executive Paul Plummer added: “Nobody wins from RMT attempts to undermine rail companies working together to deliver major changes and improvements for customers and communities. Train companies are working to find a way through these disputes so that we can get on with the business of delivering our long-term plan for the railway, playing our part to support Britain’s economy.”

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