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Settle line strike 'unnecessary'

The Settle to Carlisle railway line is known as one of the most scenic in the UK. Credit: John Giles/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The general manager of the company that runs the historic Settle to Carlisle railway line has called a strike by staff, scheduled for this Saturday, "unnecessary".

Staff employed by the Settle and Carlisle Railway Development Company, who provide at-seat catering, will take action on Saturday 13 December.

The row is about compulsory redundancies, which the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers calls a "kick in the teeth":

“The last thing we expected on the historic Settle/Carlisle rail line was a compulsory redundancy situation - it seems the company's actions are at odds with their stated objectives leading them into a regrettable and wholly avoidable dispute with Britain's biggest rail union.

This is a kick in the teeth for loyal and hard-working staff who have fought to save and develop this well-loved service."

– RMT General Secretary Mick Cash

But the Settle and Carlisle Railway Development Company insists it was necessary to offer a member of staff a voluntary redundancy package, which that staff member then turned down:

"We regret the unnecessary strike action and hope it does not undermine the future of the service.

We had offered a generous voluntary redundancy package and another job, but sadly these were turned down."

– Drew Haley, General Manager