During the 44th day of the Northern Rail staff strike, mayor Andy Burnham claims that the operator finds the weekend's cancellations "helpful" to prepare for the coming week.

Passengers not only had to contend with Saturdays with massively reduced services, as a result of the ongoing confrontation with the role of the Guardians, but also the rules for work on the day of rest and understaffing were felt on Sunday.

Northern, who claims Sunday's disruption has been exacerbated by technical work on the network, has repeatedly urged RMT to stop the strike action and accept an independent ACAS investigation.

Northern's managing director, David Brown, has also insisted that a second person next to the driver be held in Northern Services for Northern Service's "customer service, including accessibility, security, ticketing and information" services. This means that there was no reason. for a strike.

They have also insisted that they work on solving the Sunday problems – though they had warned in the past that they would continue until 2019.

Northern Rail boss David Brown
Northern Rail boss David Brown

However, during a public transport meeting on Thursday, Mr Burnham controversially claimed that it would indeed be "helpful" for Northern to drop out at the weekend.

Sunday cancellations – which the operator has said in the past, in part due to a continuing dispute over working time related to engineering work – added Mr Burnham: "It is up to the operator to solve the problem.

"But I think Northern finds it helpful, it provides the operator with some catching up to do on weekends to help them prepare for Monday through Friday."

He said it was "very frustrating" at a time when operators should rebuild confidence in the railways.

Mr Burnham also spoke strongly about the ongoing dispute between RMT and Northern over the role of guards on trains. Employees should get off every Saturday this Saturday.

He added, "I do not understand how at this moment, when one pulls guards off the trains, people are made to use trains.

"We need to see the operator willing to resolve this dispute."

"I think Northern finds it helpful, it provides the operator with some catching up to do on weekends, so he prepares for Monday through Friday."

Mr Burnham said he thinks operators should think about ways to "get people back to the railroad and restore confidence" instead of "preventing them from taking the staff off the trains".

He added, "The dismissal of employees does not build public confidence in the railways, especially among the elderly and the disabled."

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He said he would not like to see his own teenage daughters go by train without a guard.

Meanwhile, the RMT has accused Northern of "refusing to lift the ax over the heads of security-critical guards."

The RMT will strike for the 44th time this weekend on the role of the guards in the trains

Mick Cash, Secretary General, added, "RMT continues to make serious and meaningful discussions with Northern, but the company prefers to ignore the safety concerns of its employees and the public in a show of utter contempt.

"RMT will not be involved in diluting the safety culture on Northern Rail's trains to shore up the profits of German rail operators – it's nothing short of a scandal that northern passengers are paying some of the highest fares in Europe traveling in unreliable." and rammed trains to subsidize the domestic operation of the German parent company.

"That's why our members will stand firm tomorrow on the 44 days to support a safe and accessible railroad for all.

"We thank the public for their support and understanding during this dispute over safety and access to rail transport, and the union is ready for genuine and serious talks."

A spokesman for the North said David Brown had met with the mayor on Thursday afternoon – hours after the public meeting – to brief him on the RMT strike.

Mick Cash, Secretary General, said, "RMT continues to make serious and meaningful discussions with Northern, but the company prefers to ignore the safety concerns of its employees and the public in a show of utter contempt."

He added, "The mayor is aware that all parties, Transport for the North, the Department of Transport and Northern, agree that a conductor will remain on the northern tracks, but RMT still refuses to join us to settle his dispute.

"In December, we made a serious and well-intentioned request to ACAS to appoint an independent chairman and panel members to address the issues that are at the heart of RMT's ongoing dispute with the train operator and to make recommendations.

"Within a few hours, RMT refused the opportunity to complain in an independent investigation and announced further strike data.

"ACAS is a respected independent organization that has helped settle many disputes, including disputes in the railway sector. Contributions from interested parties, including customer groups, trade unions, business groups, accessibility authorities and the rail industry, will be submitted.

"We thought that RMT had welcomed the opportunity to present this independent body, and we again urge RMT to join us and stop its industrial action while the investigation is in progress.

"It's certainly not in our interest to terminate the services on a Sunday, and it's harder to manage the services on Monday to make sure our fleet is in the right locations.

"As part of our investment in the Northern Network, we have committed ourselves to providing more services over the weekend, especially on Sunday, and we will continue to work towards providing a stable and stable Sunday timetable, with a small weekend just before the full timetable Number of routes that face cancellations. "

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