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Northern Rail strikes go ahead as talks break down

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A 24-hour rail strike will go ahead after talks to avert action broke down, the RMT union said.RMT staff working for Northern Rail will walk out next Wednesday as part of a long-running dispute over driver-only operated trains.Northern, which operates services in Yorkshire, the North West and the North East, said it would be operating a reduced service. It said any services it was able to run were expected to be very busy. ‘Public safety’Richard Allan, deputy managing director of Arriva Rail North, which manages Northern, said it had hoped to work with the union to resolve the issue. “During talks on Friday we asked RMT to suspend their strike action to allow us to work together to shape the future on-board role, focusing on giving customers a better service,” he said. “This was not accepted, so we continue to concentrate our efforts on running as many trains as possible for our customers during the next RMT strike.”RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “The abject failure of Arriva Rail North bosses to take today’s talks seriously means that the action next week goes ahead and the disruption that will be unleashed will be entirely down to the company’s failure to engage with the union.”He said the dispute was about public safety and Northern were “going through the motions”.
Source: BBC Lancashire