Arriva Rail North: Strikes halted by ‘breakthrough’

Northern Rail train Image copyright Photoshot
Image caption The dispute has been running for two years

Strikes on Arriva Rail North have been suspended after a “major breakthrough” in a long-running dispute over plans to axe guards on trains, a union said.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) have taken 47 days of industrial action and were due to walk out on the next two Saturdays.

Passengers have faced huge disruption since the dispute began two years ago.

The RMT said the company had now offered a guarantee of a conductor on all trains.

The union claimed imposing driver-only services was a risk to public safety.

Conductor guarantee

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said his members had shown “resilience and determination”.

He said he wanted to thank the travelling public for their “extraordinary support”.

Image caption RMT members held pickets in Newcastle

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and Liverpool Mayor Steve Rotheram had also been important in allowing us to “break the deadlock”, he added.

Mr Cash said: “Today’s offer of a guarantee of a conductor on all services throughout the duration of the franchise, including the new fleet, is the substantial progress we have been pushing for.

“[It] has allowed RMT’s executive to take the decision to suspend the current action and allow for further talks to now take place with all stakeholders around the operational details.”

Image copyright Pat Draper
Image caption RMT union members on the picket line outside Wigan Wallgate Station

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