Possible Northern Rail strike could disrupt services in Hull and East Yorkshire

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Published: Monday 6th July 2015 by KCFM

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It follows a vote by RMT members for strike action over safety concerns.

Strike action on Northern Rail services in Hull and the East Riding looks likely after the RMT voted in favour of industrial action.

It’s over changes to working conditions they believe could compromise safety – but a strike date’s yet to be decided.

Mickey Thompson, from the RMT union, says feelings are running high:

“We see there is a direct threat to undermine established positions. We’ve tried to end that through constructive and amicable dialogue but the company are playing hard ball and are not prepared to negotiate.”

He says he doesn’t feel they’re being unreasonable:

“The bottom line here is, is to reach an amicable resolution. Nobody wants to take strike action, nobody wins. But if you have an employer who isn’t prepared to negotiate and not prepared to compromise in any way shape or form, then unfortunately that leaves us no other option but to protect our members.”

Mr Thompson says his members are angry:

“My members livelihoods and future livelihoods are at risk. We want to ensure that ticket offices remain open, that there’s a confident safety conductor and guard on the train, there’s no extension of driver only operation and provide the travelling public with 21st century rail service that delivers on demand.”

Northern Rail says they’re disappointed with the result and many of the issues raised aren’t part of the current franchise but one starting next year which has yet to be appointed.

In a statement, Adrian Thompson, HR Director for Northern Rail said:

“We are disappointed that RMT Northern members have voted in favour of strike action and industrial action short of a strike, but note that only 38% of members who were asked to vote, voted yes to this. That means 62% of people who were asked to vote either voted no or did not vote.

“The RMT Executive Committee has said it is now considering the result. As soon as we have any further information, we will update our customers.

“Some of the RMT’s issues within this strike ballot area about the requirements for the next Northern franchise, which starts in April 2016.

“We have explained to the RMT that this means the issues they are concerned about are not part of Northern Rail’s current franchise and are not within our control to change. They would need to be discussed with the new operator of the franchise from April 2016.

“The DfT is expected to announce the winner of the next Northern franchise later this year.”

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Published: Monday 6th July 2015 by KCFM

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