Three more rail strike days to hit Wigan

A Northern train
A Northern train
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Wigan will be faced with strikes on three successive Saturdays as a long rail safety dispute goes on.

RMT has confirmed Northern staff, which runs services going through Wigan North Western and Wallgate, will not be at work for 24-hour periods on August 25, September 1 and September 8.

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The union has been locked in an industrial fight with the train operator over retaining what is says is the critical role of the guard on all services for more than a year.

Talks once again took place recently to try to reach a solution but the breakdown of discussions has been followed by another savage attack on rail bosses by the RMT.

The union's general secretary Mick Cash said: “We are angry and frustrated that a genuine opportunity to reach an agreement has been kicked back by the company.

“German-owned Northern Rail want to run nearly half a million trains a year without a safety critical guard on board in a move that would wreck both safety and access ‎to services and they should listen to their front-line staff and pull back from that plan immediately.

"RMT recently secured an agreement on Greater Anglia that enshrine the guard guarantee. Similar agreements have also been reached in Wales and Scotland. Arriva Rail North need to do the right thing and come to an agreement that secures a guard on their trains too.

“We thank the public for their support and understanding throughout this dispute over rail safety and access and the union remains ready for genuine and serious talks.”