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Emotional travel agents remember Tunisian terror victims

There were emotional scenes outside Thomson and First Choice offices in Sunderland. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Travel agents in Sunderland became emotional as they joined the nation in observing a minute's silence at midday to remember the 30 British victims of the horrific gun attack on a Tunisian beach a week ago (June 26).

Their Thomson and First Choice customers were among those killed when gunman Seifeddine Rezgui opened fire in the resort of Sousse.


Tunisian dead remembered by Whickham children

Schoolchildren in Whickham, Tyneside, have taken part in a minute's silence to honour the victims of the Tunisia beach massacre.

Pupils of St Mary's R C Primary School, Whickham, at midday. Credit: ITV News

A minute's silence was held across the country at midday today, one week on from the gun attack in Sousse which left thirty Britons dead.

The event had particular significance for Whickham. One of the victims was grandmother Lisa Burbridge, who was from Whickham.

Lisa Burbridge from Whickham. Credit: Family photograph

Northern Rail 'disappointed' by strike vote

Following the RMT union's successful strike vote, Northern Rail has issued this statement:

"We are disappointed that RMT Northern members have voted in favour of strike action and industrial action short of a strike, but note that only 38% of members who were asked to vote, voted yes to this. That means 62% of people who were asked to vote either voted no or did not vote.

“The RMT Executive Committee has said it is now considering the result. As soon as we have any further information, we will update our customers.

“Some of the RMT’s issues within this strike ballot are about the requirements for the next Northern franchise, which starts in April 2016. We have explained to the RMT that this means the issues they are concerned about are not part of Northern Rail’s current franchise and are not within our control to change. They would need to be discussed with the new operator of the franchise from April 2016. The DfT is expected to announce the winner of the next Northern franchise later this year.”

– Adrian Thompson, HR Director for Northern Rail


Northern Rail staff to strike over jobs and safety

Northern Rail train at Newcastle Central Station. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Workers on Northern Rail have voted to go on strike in a row over jobs and safety.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union backed walkouts by 80% and other forms of industrial action by 90%.

The union said it is in dispute over a series of issues, including the removal of permanent posts and the creation of zero-hour jobs via a contract with a security company, cuts to booking offices and attacks on the role and responsibility of train guards.

The union said Northern Rail had also given no commitment that there will be no compulsory redundancies beyond the end of its current franchise in February 2016.

"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."

– Mick Cash, RMT general secretary

Northern Rail is owned by a 50:50 joint venture between Serco Group and Abellio, a subsidiary of NS Dutch Railways.

The company employs 4,900 workers and runs 2,500 services every week day.

The RMT said 1,500 of its members are involved in the dispute.

Angela Wrightson murder trial: home a 'bomb site'

Angela Wrightson

The trial of two teenage girls accused of murdering a woman in her home in Hartlepool has heard the first paramedic to arrive on the scene said it was like a bomb site.

Teesside Crown Court has heard that thirty nine year old Angela Wrightson had suffered more than a 100 separate injuries.

The jury was also told there was evidence she had tried to defend herself and that she'd been restrained.

The girls, aged 14 and 15, both deny the charges.

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