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Nick Hill

Yorkshire rail travel to be effected by Northern Rail staff strike

Yorkshire rail travelers are going to be faced with major disruptions this month after it was announced workers on Northern Rail have voted to go on strike over job security and safety.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union voted on a walkout by 80% and backed several other forms of industrial action by 90%.

The union is in an ongoing row over a range of issues, including totally removing permanent posts, the formation of zero-hour jobs via a contract via a security company, additional cuts to booking offices and changes to the role of train guards.

The union also noted that Northern Rail hasn’t committed to no compulsory redundancies beyond the end of its current franchise in February 2016.

Northern Rail employs 4,900 workers and runs 2,500 services every week day. The RMT confirmed that 1,500 of its members are involved in the row.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said, via ITV: “RMT has made every effort to win assurances from Northern Rail over jobs, services and safety. However, the company continues to ride roughshod over our efforts.

“We therefore had no option but to ballot all staff for action to force the company to take these issues seriously and the members have now voted decisively for action. That mandate will now be considered by the union.

“The union is committed to ending the two-tier workforce that the security contract creates and calls for all workers to be brought in-house on decent pay and conditions.

“We are also committed to keeping ticket offices opening and defending guards’ jobs, which are safety-critical.

“The RMT remains available for talks and we expect the company to now take this dispute, and the issues at the heart of it, seriously.”

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