Rail strike: Industrial action on Harrogate line called off

Members of theRMT were set to strike this weekend
Members of theRMT were set to strike this weekend

Industrial action which could have affected the Harrogate rail line this weekend has been called off.

Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) were set to strike this Saturday (July, 21) as part of their on-going dispute with Arrival Rail North (Northern) over the future of rail guards. The company operate the majority of trains on the Harrogate line.

However with the potential for a new group to be formed with representatives from both sides of the negotiating table and for talks to continue the strike will not go ahead.

‎RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said: “RMT’s negotiating team has been in talks with Arriva Rail North over the past week in an attempt to seek a resolution to the long-running dispute.

“Reports from RMT representatives and correspondence from the company have set out a process for reconvening talks around proposals to set up a joint working party to consider a “range of options on the deployment of on-board staff, including a specific option of retaining a second safety critical person on board all ARN trains.”

“RMT’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has noted this situation and has stated that these talks must commence this week. Also, the union’s NEC has instructed our team to negotiate around the guarantee of a second person on every train and their safety critical responsibilities in the first instance.

“Weekly updates will be given to the RMT NEC on how these talks are progressing. As a result of this situation, the NEC has suspended the industrial action which was scheduled to take place on Saturday 21st July 2018 and our members are instructed to work as normal on that date.”

Richard Allan, Deputy Managing Director for Northern, says the company was pleased at the news, adding that they wished to work the RMT over the future of on-board roles for staff.

He said: "We are pleased that RMT has agreed to hold talks in a bid to resolve their ongoing dispute and has called off its strike action that was planned for Saturday 21 July, which means that customers can plan their journeys based on a regular Saturday timetable.

"Northern is modernising local rail for customers, with £500m of new trains under construction, better stations and more services by 2020. We want to work with RMT to design and shape the future on-board role for colleagues to help deliver better customer service."