Two day strike disrupts rail service


As a result of strikes, Northern Rail will not be operating any trains between Wilmslow and Manchester or Manchester Airport today, Monday 27th December, or tomorrow, Tuesday 28th December.

The north of England train operator will provide a revised timetable on selected routes, from around 9am until 6pm on both days, which will cover approximately 40% of the Northern network. However, there will be no Northern services on any other routes and replacement buses will only be in operation on routes where engineering work were already planned.

The revised timetable is in place because the The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has called a strike by conductor members over a row about pay for working the additional public holidays this festive season. This strike action does not affect services run by other train companies.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: "The spirit of old Scrooge is alive and well on Northern Rail and our conductor members have shown in this ballot that they will not be treated as second class citizens this Christmas. There is NO agreement in place on Northern Rail for the additional public holidays on the 27th and 28th December that everyone else will be benefitting from this year. You only have to look at the sporting calendar to see that these days are full-on public holidays everywhere other than in the minds of the senior management at Northern Rail.

"To attempt to create the impression that an agreement exists for these days when it is pure fiction is a shoddy way to treat the workforce and has only made our members more angry and more determined to get a fair deal for giving up time with their families to work these additional public holidays.

"No matter how many phony arguments Northern Rail throw up they cannot escape the fact that this is a company that has made over £85 million in profits off the backs of their workforce in the past four years. The board room is awash with cash and it is outrageous that staff are being told to work these additional Christmas public holidays at flat rate while the Northern Rail shareholders are relaxing in front of the telly with the warm feeling that £80 million in dividend payments brings.

"The time has come for Northern Rail to cut the misleading statements and cut a fair deal with their staff for working over the Christmas break."

Ian Bevan, Managing Director, Northern, said: "We are running as many services as we can on 27 and 28 December and these are concentrated on routes that are not covered by other operators.

"We regret the action taken by the RMT union but despite the strike we will cover about 40% of our network and expect to carry tens of thousands of passengers over the two days."

Passengers can find detailed timetable information from, staffed stations or by contacting Northern's customer relations team on 0845 00 00 125 or National Rail Enquiries on 08457 484950.

Northern Rail