Strikes over the modernisation of the rail network are likely to spread to northern England. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union has given Northern Rail and Merseyrail — which operate in cities including Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Hull — until the end of the month to offer “cast-iron assurances” that guards will be retained on all trains. A failure to reach agreement is likely to result in strike action, possibly by the end of February. The warning came after another day of misery for commuters on Southern Rail, which is involved in the most damaging railway dispute for at least 20 years. Yesterday almost all 2,242 daily services were cancelled after members of Aslef, the train drivers’ union, and the RMT staged a walkout.
Source: The Times January 12, 2017 00:01 UTC