RMT Trade Union Says Northern Rail Strikes To Start Friday As Planned After Talks Collapse

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RMT Trade Union Says Northern Rail Strikes to Start Friday As Planned After Talks Collapse

The UK National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) announced on Friday that Northern Rail staff would call their strike on Saturday as planned following the collapse of talks with the company's leadership over the long-standing driver-only trains dispute.

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 07th December, 2018) The UK National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) announced on Friday that Northern Rail staff would call their strike on Saturday as planned following the collapse of talks with the company's leadership over the long-standing driver-only trains dispute.

On Tuesday, the trade union said that its talks with Northern Rail company had collapsed, arguing that the operator's only goal was to buy some time and trick the union into suspending the strikes.

"Strike action over the threat to guards on Northern Rail trains goes ahead exactly as planned tomorrow [December 8] after the company wrecked a golden opportunity to make progress in talks aimed at resolving the long-running dispute earlier this week," the release said.

The strikes are set to take place every Saturday for four weeks in a row � on December 8, 15, 22 and 29, with the rail company saying that only a few trains would be running after 17:00 GMT.

According to the trade union, the upcoming strikes will be all the more appropriate given the recently-published official figures on the number of violent incidents on UK railroads during holidays, which showed a nearly 100 percent increase in such incidents over the past two years.

The dispute between the trade union and several UK rail operators, including Northern Rail, erupted in 2017 after the companies boosted the number of operating driver-only trains, where the responsibility for opening and closing the vehicle's doors and dispatching the train from a station shifts from a special guard to the driver himself. RMT has been voicing their concern over passengers' safety, which, according to the trade union, has been endangered by the new rules.

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