Union urged to abandon rail strikes

Rail bosses want a union to abandon strikes and enter conciliation talks
Rail bosses want a union to abandon strikes and enter conciliation talks
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Rail bosses have called on a union to abandon three days of planned strikes and seek mediation.

Arriva Rail North, which operates the troubled Northern franchise covering Wigan, has urged the RMT to postpone planned for three Saturdays from August 25 and attend discussions at the conciliation service ACAS.

The operator and the rail union have been embroiled in a long-running dispute over the withdrawal of guards from Northern services, which has led to several previous stoppages.

David Brown, ARN's managing director, said: “Over the last few weeks, further positive talks have taken place to find a resolution to RMT’s ongoing dispute.

"Having invited RMT to continue these talks this week, it is very disappointing the union has announced further strikes on August 25, September 1 and September 8.

"“We can only resolve this dispute by working jointly through meaningful talks. I am fully committed to finding a joint solution which is why I have invited RMT to these ACAS mediated talks.”

Rail bosses insist they want train crews to work "more flexibly" as part of a major modernisation programme.

Union leaders have repeatedly questioned the safety aspect of driver-only trains, especially the possible effects on more vulnerable travellers.