Rail workers to hold further Saturday strikes in run up to Christmas

Rail passengers in Sheffield face more misery after a further series of strikes were announced in the run up to Christmas.

Members of the Rail and Maritime Union – who are holding their 34th strike in a long-running dispute over the role of gurards today – have announced a further five on Saturdays between November 17 and December 15.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union.

Industrial action is already scheduled for Saturday, November 10.

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Northern said the RMT union was ‘cynically’ targeting festive events and called for talks to reconvene.

Northern previously said it had managed to run 30 per cent of services across the North from Cumbria, Merseyside, Yorkshire, the North East and down to Lincoln when staff took industrial action.

Northern Rail services are affecting by the ongoing strike action.

Northern Rail services are affecting by the ongoing strike action.

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RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said it should ‘pull back’ from its plan ‘immediately’.

He said: “RMT members are taking action again today on both Northern and South Western Railway in the continuing fight for safety, security and access on our trains while the train companies preside over a surge in violence across their services.

“I want to salute our members’ resilience in both disputes as they continue to stand firm this morning n the battle to put public safety before private profit.”

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David Brown, Northern's managing director, said the firm's appeal to resume talks had been ignored.

He added: "They have responded by cynically targeting the weekends in November and December to hit Christmas markets and important seasonal events.

"RMT's strikes are causing more and more unnecessary difficulty and inconvenience for our customers and a significant loss of earnings for their members."