Socialist Worker

Hundreds walk out at Northern Rail against unsafe driver only trains

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2624

RMT union members on strike at Liverpool Lime Street station last Saturday

RMT union members on strike at Liverpool Lime Street station last Saturday (Pic: RMT/Twitter)

Northern rail workers walked out on Saturday of last week in the latest action in their long-running fight for passenger safety.

And hundreds of RMT union members at Arriva Rail North—which owns Northern Rail—are also planning to walk out on 13 and 20 October.

They are fighting to stop the rollout of driver only operated (DOO) trains—unless bosses guarantee safety measures.

Strikers want assurances that a second safety-critical member of staff will be on board DOO trains at all times.

There are 330 unstaffed stations on Northern routes.

Train guards play a particularly important role in ensuring everyone can travel safely and accessibly.

Bosses at Northern rail want at least 50 percent of services to run without a guard.

But the RMT says this will lead to a “cocktail of dangers” for passengers.

Safety strike suspended on the Eurostar

The RMT union called off a planned strike on the Eurostar international rail route at the eleventh hour.

Station staff and train guards were due to walk out for 48 hours over safety concerns on Monday of this week.

A rumoured deal between the RMT and bosses included “a monitoring committee” to deal with overcrowding issues.

Further details were yet to be announced as Socialist Worker went to press on Tuesday.

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