'Safety cannot be compromised for sales' says RMT leader after rail strikes cause more disruption for Northern

RMT union members at the picket line on Tuesday SUBMITTED
RMT union members at the picket line on Tuesday SUBMITTED
6 October 2017 5:21PM

THE threat of more industrial action looms as striking staff and union bosses tell Northern rail, "we are not going to walk away from this."

Blighted operator Northern subjected passengers to lengthy delays and numerous cancellations as two days of industrial action hit services running across Cumbria on October 3 and October 5.

Proposed changes would see the train guard removed in a push towards driver-only trains which union RMT and many passengers feel is a safety violation.

Darren Ireland, RMT regional organiser for the North West said: "

The strike was supported by every single union member in Barrow.

"The passengers were very supportive today they were very aware of the concerns- they want a second person on the train, they don't want to be left alone.

"Safety cannot be compromised for sales and profit."

RMT strike: How do I claim compensation for cancelled and delayed trains?

Services were heavily disrupted with many cancelling their journeys and left stranded as only one train every three hours left Barrow for Lancaster.

"We are not going to walk away from this until it's resolved- if that means more action then that will happen because they are compromising our safety for profits.

"They must realise they've lost the argument in terms of safety.

"This is the tenth day of industrial action they have had across the northern franchise.

"We remain open to negotiations and employers just need to re-think as they know this could be a long dispute," added Mr Ireland.

Less than half rail services running from Barrow with train staff on strike over 'national scandal'

The long running dispute has been an issue across many areas including in Scotland, where rail staff voted heavily to accept a compromise deal.

ScotRail services were hit by a series of strikes over similar proposals, but the RMT announced yesterday its Scottish members had voted by 10 to one to accept a revised offer from ScotRail Alliance which would see drivers opening train doors, and conductors closing them.

Mr Ireland said: "Agreements have been made in Scotland and Wales and we want to reach an agreement, but they just aren't negotiating.

"They are digging their heels in.

"The trade union has offered them a solution and we are not opposed to modernisation."

Improvements to Barrow station will form part of Northern Rail's £1 billion investment in services

The RMT has produced a list of unmanned stations they fear could become hotspots for crime.

In South Cumbria, the following were listed:


- Bootle

-Cark and Cartmel




- Millom

- Ravenglass

- Roose

- Sellafield

Comment on this article

Generate a new code
Raymond   Dobson , Walney Friday, 06 October, 2017 at 8:58PM
I personally think Northern Rail have a lot to answer for, single crew trains is both irresponsible and dangerous, passengers would have no way to communicate with staff as trying to communicate with the driver is also dangerous. I agree with the strikes but I feel that more attention needs to paid in the overall structuring of a company who have PUBLICY blamed a lack of staff for reason behind so many train cancellations. The furness line has seen little or no fleet modernisation in close to ten years, with Northern still operating the Pacer units which are close to 40 years old, while down south the first Eurostar trains are being withdrawn and scrapped. I feel a certain degree of blame also needs to be pointed towards local and national government as there is too big a difference in the amount of budgeting spent here in the northwest, and not only on the rail newtork
Reply to this comment

Generate a new code
Comments not OK? Click here to let us know
Read this..
Featured articles