Two days of rail strikes in safety dispute

A Northern train
A Northern train
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Wigan rail passengers face two more days of strike action as a long-running safety dispute goes on.

The RMT union has told members employed by Northern not to book on for shifts over 48 hours later this month.

Industrial action will take place on Monday March 26 and Thursday March 29.

The dispute between the unions and train companies over retaining the role of the guard and preventing driver-only operations has been running for more than a year and shows no sign of ending.

In an attempt to break the current deadlock the RMT has demanded three-way talks with Northern and the Department for Transport (DfT).

General secretary Mick Cash said: "Every single effort that RMT has made to reach a negotiated settlement with Northern over safe operation and safe staffing has been kicked back in our faces.

"No one should be in any doubt, this dispute is 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.

"If it’s good enough for Wales and Scotland to put safety first then it’s good enough for the rest of the UK.

“RMT remains ready for the tripartite talks we have suggested.”