England

New Northern rail strike dates in trains guard dispute

Train travelling along a track
Image caption Northern, which is also known as Arriva Rail North, is the main train operator in northern England.

Workers on Northern rail services are staging two fresh strikes in a dispute over the role of guards.

The news comes the day after the latest action on Wednesday which saw staff at operators Northern and Greater Anglia walk out for 24 hours.

Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said members would walk out again on 24 and 26 May.

The union argues passenger safety would be put at risk by getting rid of guards and extending driver-only services.

The dispute started over two years ago on Southern Railway and now affects five train operators.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said the company was putting "public safety before 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.

"The union remains ready for talks."

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