December 20, 2017 / 4:15 PM / 9 months ago

UK train drivers' union calls strikes on six lines next month

LONDON (Reuters) - Rail passengers in several areas of England face more disruption next month when the RMT drivers’ union takes strike action on six lines in a long-running dispute over the role of guards.

RMT members on Northern, Merseyrail, Greater Anglia, South Western Railways and the Isle of Wight Island Line have been instructed not to work on Jan. 8, 10 and 12.

Those on Southern rail will strike on Jan. 8.

The argument is over who should open and close train doors. That task now usually falls to guards who ride in train carriages but many private train companies prefer the Driver Only Operation (DOO) and say drivers can do it themselves.

The RMT says DOO is dangerous and based on financial motivations whereas train companies say it is the practice on other lines and has been deemed safe by regulators.

Reporting by Elliot Moses; editing by Stephen Addison

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