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Union reaction to Northern Rail and Trans-Pennine franchise announcement

Following this morning's announcement that the government intends to award the Northern Rail franchise to Arriva Rail North Limited, and the TransPennine Express franchise to First Trans Pennine Express Limited, there has been heated reaction from the RMT union.

General Secretary Mick Cash said:

"This widely-trailed announcement is no surprise but will still come as a bitter blow to rail users and rail staff across the North.

Rather than all the garbage about the Northern Powerhouse this morning's announcement opens the door to years of cuts to staff and safety and to profiteering on an epic scale.

RMT has waged a public fight against this carve up, engaging the public and local politicians, and that fight goes on. The battle for a publicly owned, people's railway will continue regardless of today's profit-driven fit up."

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Travel: No Northern Rail service between Sunderland and Newcastle tomorrow

Credit: ynne Cameron/PA Archive/PA Images

All Northern Rail trains running between Sunderland and Newcastle tomorrow have been cancelled because of emergency engineering work needed to repair overhead power lines.

The line will be closed from 9pm this evening until 5.20am tomorrow while Network Rail engineers work on the line.

Rail replacement services will be operating between Newcastle and Sunderland.

The last services to operate this evening will be:

  • · 21.10 Middlesbrough – Hexham
  • · 21.18 Newcastle – Middlesbrough

Strike: RMT says there's 'no option'

Rail workers' union RMT have announced that staff at the Northern Rail maintenance depot at Heaton in Newcastle are to take a full week of strike action starting on Thursday. The claim is that management has left 'no option' other than to strike.

“Despite a rock solid 48 hour strike in February, and total support for the overtime ban, management refuse to take our members concerns seriously and have left us with no option other than to ratchet up the action with a week-long strike starting this Thursday.“This dispute has been forced on us by the management’s continuing and stubborn refusal to take the real nature of these jobs into account through the re-grading process and it is now down to them to rectify the situation. RMT remains available for talks.”

– RMT Acting General Secretary Mick Cash

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Northern Rail maintenance staff announce week long strike

Rail workers' union RMT have announced that staff at the Northern Rail maintenance depot at Heaton in Newcastle are to take a full week of strike action starting on Thursday.

It is the latest step in a continuing dispute over overtime and the grading of roles which staff say do not recognised the "complex and demanding role of this key group of staff".

There was a 48 hour strike in February but, according to RMT the issues remain unresolved and staff will now strike between Thursday April 10 and Wednesday April 16.

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