Rail strike averted after RMT and Northern Rail reach agreement

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Strike action which threatened to grind train services through Wakefield to a halt has been called off.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union balloted more than 2,000 members in a dispute over casualisation of the workforce, pay and working conditions at Northern Rail.

Trains through Wakefield Westgate, Kirkgate and Normanton were set to be hit after RMT members backed strike action at the end of May.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said the dispute was resolved after the union secured agreements on use of agency workers and a review of contractor arrangements.

He said: “On a wide range of other issues that also threatened working conditions RMT has reached agreements that will protect our members rights and livelihoods.

“This is an important victory on a major rail franchise that sends out a message from RMT across the rail industry that we will take action to stop creeping casualisation and the use of agencies that threaten to undermine jobs and conditions.”

Northern Rail disputed the RMT’s claims that the workforce was being casualised.

The company confirmed that he dispute had been resolved. Northern Rail said in a statement: “We are pleased that customers will no longer face the prospect of unnecessary disruption to their journeys.”