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RAIL UNION RMT today confirmed that strike action goes ahead exactly as planned on Wednesday and Friday in separate disputes with train operating companies across the UK over attacks on the role of the safety-critical guard and the extension of Driver Only Operation in the name of increased profits.

Members on Northern, Merseyrail, Greater Anglia, South Western Railways and Island Line have been instructed to take action as follows:

Not to book on for any shifts between 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on the 10th and 12th January 2018

RMT has also confirmed that it has had no response from Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, either before, during or after the Tory reshuffle shambles yesterday, to the urgent call for a rail summit involving his department and the train companies aimed at brokering a solution to these disputes similar to the agreements reached in Wales and Scotland.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“Every single effort that RMT has made to reach negotiated settlements in these separate disputes with the different train operating companies over safe operation and safe staffing has been kicked back in our faces and we are left with no option but to press ahead with the action exactly as planned. No one should be in any doubt, these disputes are about putting the safety of the travelling public before the profits of the private train companies.

“It is frankly ludicrous that we have been able to negotiate long-term arrangements in Scotland and Wales that protect the guards and passenger safety but we are being denied the same opportunities with rail companies in England. This suspension of normal industrial relations by the employers has to end if we are to make progress towards a solution that guarantees safe rail travel for all.

“It is ridiculous that Chris Grayling has completely refused to respond to RMT’s call for summit talks aimed at moving this fundamental issue of rail safety forwards. Now that he is now longer shuttling in and out of Downing Street and is back at his desk it is time for him to get on with his job and start talking."



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