Rail workers are set to stage a series of 24-hour strikes in January over long-running disputes over the role of guards.
The RMT union announced workers on Southern, South Western Railway, Greater Anglia, Merseyrail, Arriva Rail North and the Isle of Wight’s Island Line will be involved in the action.
Workers from all companies, except Southern, are due to walk out on 8, 10 and 12 January. Southern employees are expected to strike only on 8 January.
The union said it made “every single effort” to come to an agreement over the disputes about safety.
Train journeys are now expected to be disrupted over the course of the action, which comes days after a rail fares increase.
:: Virgin Trains: Staff to strike on Friday before Christmas
Image: Commuters have been warned of potential disruption
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Every single effort that RMT has made to reach negotiated settlements in these separate disputes with the different train operating companies over safe operation and safe staffing has been kicked back in our faces and we are left with no option but to confirm a further phase of industrial action in the New Year.
“No one should be in any doubt, these disputes are about putting the safety of the travelling public before the profits of the private train companies.
“It is frankly ludicrous that we have been able to negotiate long-term arrangements in Scotland and Wales that protect the guards and passenger safety but we are being denied the same opportunities with rail companies in England.”
Mr Cash also hit out at the Government over the disputes.
He said: “RMT is in no doubt that it is the dead hand of the minority Tory Government that is interfering in these disputes and their influence is a factor in preventing the union from reaching negotiated settlements.”
The union boss called on the Government to lift its “blockade” on talks to allow the union to negotiate with companies.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has since hit back at the union.
A spokesperson said: “Not content with attempting to stop people getting home for Christmas, the RMT’s version of a happy new year is to continue dragging paying customers into its futile and backward-looking industrial action.
“Despite this, rail companies will be working hard to keep people moving on RMT strike days.”
The DfT said suggesting the strikes were about jobs or safety was “total nonsense”.
The planned walkout comes as RMT members with Virgin West Coast, CrossCountry, South Western Railway, GreaterAnglia and London’s Dockland Light Railway are set to strike over staffing, pay and working conditions in the coming weeks.
Richard Allan, Arriva North’s deputy managing director, said the company “will be working hard to keep customers on the move” during the strikes.
“Northern is committed to investing in new and updated trains, better stations and faster journeys for our customers,” he added.
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“Northern is still prepared to guarantee jobs and pay for conductors for the rest of our franchise to 2025 if we can reach agreement on how our colleagues deliver better customer service using those fantastic new facilities.
“Additionally, last week the Government wrote to RMT, guaranteeing employment for conductors beyond 2025 if RMT ends its dispute.”