Alan Williams

At last! After almost 50 days of drastically reduced services or worse still, on many rural lines, none at all, the RMT union has agreed to suspend its strike action and recommence talks about the role of the conductor on Northern trains, allegedly because Northern and the Department for Transport have abandoned their previous insistence on driver-only operation and now agreed to retain a conductor on all trains. In fact, both parties had agreed this weeks before at the turn of the year, but instead of celebrating its victory and calling offthe strike, the RMT then centred the dispute on who ultimately controls the doors on trains, the driver or what the union previously referred to as the guard but now seems to accept is a conductor.

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