Northern workers suspend rail strikes following ‘major breakthrough’ in talks

Long-running strikes by rail workers over the role of guards on trains have been suspended after a ‘major breakthrough’ in the dispute.

The Rail Martime and Transport union said in a statement that ‘substantial progress’ had been made in talks with the train operator, bringing the strike to an end after more than two years.

Mick Cash, of the RMT union.

Mick Cash, of the RMT union.

Operator Northern said it will now guarantee conductors on all trains, including its new fleet, for the duration of the franchise which is timetabled to end in 2023 - although can be extended for a further two years by the Transport Secretary. 

RMT general secretary Mick Cash paid tribute to rail workers for the ‘resilience and determination’ through the strike.

He said: “This offer of a guarantee of a conductor on all services throughout the duration of the franchise, including the new fleet, is the substantial progress we have been pushing for and has allowed RMT’s executive to take the decision to suspend the current action.”

Rail users have faced months of disruption during the strikes, particularly on Saturdays as workers held strikes in the long-running dispute .

Northern, said there would still be limited services this Saturday and a full timetable will run from Saturday, February 16.