Northern Rail staff vote for strike action

Harrogate railway station
Harrogate railway station
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Northern Rail staff who are members of transport union RMT have voted in favour of taking strike action.

Staff were balloted earlier this month over Northern Rail’s use of sub-contractors to check tickets at stations.

The RMT believes such work should be carried out by Northern Rail’s own employees.

Should strike action go ahead, services could be disrupted on Monday, May 27.

Adrian Thompson, HR Director, Northern Rail said: “We are disappointed that RMT Northern members have voted in favour of strike action, but note that only just over one third of members voted yes while 63 per cent of members voted no or abstained.

“The RMT claims that we are ‘casualising the workforce’ or replacing permanent employees with agency are completely unfounded and untrue.

“This focuses on two revenue protection contracts, one of which has been in place for 13 years, since before Northern began and the second was introduced, in agreement with the RMT as a 12 month trial to be reviewed later this year.”

“The RMT Executive has said it is now considering the result. We will update customers on strike action as soon as we have any further information.”

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “It is a tribute to our members that despite an unprecedented campaign of individual pressure through a highly-resourced campaign of intimidation by the company they have stood firm and voted for action.

“RMT is angry that instead of sitting down with the union to address the issues at the heart of this dispute, management have resorted to a campaign of smears and personal attacks in a desperate attempt to influence the outcome of this secret trade union ballot. With this mandate secured there is no excuse for the company to continue to refuse to enter meaningful talks.”

Northern Rail serves Harrogate’s rail network, providing services to Leeds and York.