Commuters facing disruption
NORTH East commuters have been warned “disruption will be unleashed” after talks failed to avert a rail strike planned for next week.
The RMT rail workers union said negotiations with Arriva Rail North broke down, making it highly likely the 24-hour strike on November 8 will go ahead.
It could mean travel chaos for commuters but the rail company said it is focused on ensuring some services can still operate. The industrial action is over the introduction of driver-only trains, which the union fear will lead to reduced safety levels for passengers.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “The abject failure of Arriva Rail North bosses to take today’s talks seriously means that the action next week goes ahead and the disruption that will be unleashed will be entirely down to the company’s failure to engage with the union. RMT negotiators entered today’s talks in good faith but it was soon clear Northern Rail were just going through the motions.
“This dispute is about public safety and the fact that Northern can’t or won’t grasp that basic fact leaves us with no option but to strike again next week.
“Passengers will understand that the key issue is about putting public safety before private profit and we thank them for their continuing support.”
The strike action in this region is part of a nationwide coordinated effort across several franchises.
A 24-hour strike by Merseyrail workers is also planned for November 8 and 48-hour strikes will hit Southern, Greater Anglia, South Western Railways and Island Line over November 8 and 9.
Northumbria Police Crime Commissioner Vera Baird QC