Rail strike latest: RMT members walk out as Southern train drivers settle

09 November, 2017, 01:55 | Author: Angelina Schmidt
  • Second day of strike action at Irish Rail takes place tomorrow

No rail services will operate tomorrow, November 7, November 14, November 23 and December 8.

Tens of thousands of commuters and transport users faced morning and evening chaos on the roads on Tuesday as Irish Rail staff held a second day of walk-outs.

Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef said: 'Our members on Southern, after careful consideration, and long and hard negotiations, have voted to accept this resolution to our industrial dispute with the company.

Drivers working for Southern Railway have voted to accept a deal to end the dispute over driver-only trains.

The RMT has raised fears over the safety of passengers if guards are withdrawn from service by the train operators in a bid to save money.

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"Rather than scheduling further industrial action beyond that, we would urge our trade unions to take the opportunity, listen to the request of the Labour Court and stop this disruption to customers". The on-board service concept has been welcomed by our passengers across the board.

Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald said in a letter that guards are vital for duties such as helping passengers who need assistance.

He said Labour believed the railways should aspire to the safest possible method of train dispatch to ensure the maximum level of passenger service, security and safety.

Driver will be responsible for opening and closing train doors, with guards transferred to the role of the on-board supervisor. Similarly, anti-social behaviour on trains could increase without the presence of a guard.

The industrial action is being taken by Irish Rail workers as the pay dispute rumbles on.

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The last two deals negotiated by ASLEF's leadership have been rejected by members, but a third deal has been approved by 79.1 per cent in favour, on a turnout of 87.1 per cent.

A Transport Department spokesperson accused the RMT of attempting to disrupt passengers as part of a "political game".

Irish Rail, which is already under deep financial strain, is set to lose about 1.5 million euro (£1.3 million) if staff push through with plans for another three days of stoppages.

"The independent rail regulator has said driver-controlled trains, which have been used in this country for more than 30 years, are safe".

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