RMT workers stage 39th walkout in Northern Guards dispute

RMT workers have walked out for the 39th time Credit: PA

Rail workers were said to be solidly supporting the latest strike in the long-running dispute over guards on trains, disrupting travel on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union on Arriva Rail North (Northern) walked out for the 39th time since the row started.

Only around a third of trains were running and services will end early.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "I want to pay tribute to RMT members across Northern Rail on this 39th day of strike action.

"It is their sheer guts and resilience that has kept the fight for safe and accessible rail travel for all across the Northern franchise in the spotlight while the company continue to duck and dive and refuse to face up to the key issues.

"It has only been the resilience of RMT members and our supporters from the travelling public whose solidarity and determination have been instrumental in getting the focus of the dispute back on to the guarantee of a second person on the train.

"It is deeply disappointing that the company failed to treat the talks this week in a serious manner that could have moved the issues forward.

"We thank the public for their continuing support and understanding in a dispute which is about putting rail safety before private profit."

Richard Allan, Northern's deputy managing director, said:

More strikes are planned for the next few Saturdays.