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"DO NOT TRAVEL" - Northern's advice to customers ahead of latest round of strike action by RMT

MORE strikes by the RMT Union in November have forced the train operator Northern to advise its customers across the North of England 'Do Not Travel,' on 3 separate dates. Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK, so this action will affect nearly 2,000 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England, on:- Saturday, 5 November, Monday, 7 November and Wednesday, 9 November 2022. On these dates services will bring all but a handful of services across the network to a halt. Given the impact strikes have on operations, Northern is also advising customers to:- 'check before you travel' on:- Sunday, 6 November, Tuesday, 8 November and Thursday, 10 November 2022, when services will not be able to start until much later in the morning. For more information, Northern's customers should visit:- NorthernRailway.Co.UK.

GMB says:- "The UK Defence Secretary must give North West Shipbuilding guarantee as £1.6 Billion Royal Naval order loos set to go overseas"

SENDING the Fleet Solid Support ships order to Spain is an insult to Cammell Laird in the North West, says GMB Union... GMB's shipbuilding branch, has demanded a cast iron shipbuilding guarantees for the North West now a vital £1.6 billion order for ships to supply the Royal Navy looks set to go overseas.

Sources close to the tendering process for the 3 new military support ships say the Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace MP, is set to award the contract to a consortium led by Spanish Government owned company Navantia, which has a history of receiving state subsidies, rather than Team UK. Mr Wallace gives evidence in front of the Defence Select Committee, on 2 November 2022.

GMB, which has long campaigned for the Fleet Solid Support ships to be built in the UK, has written to the Secretary of State warning of the impact of the move, particularly on Cammell Laird shipyard in the North West.

GMB estimates that at least £285 million would also be returned to the taxpayer through income tax, national insurance contributions and lower welfare payments if the ships were built in the UK. Shipbuilding and ship repair employment in Great Britain has fallen by 80,000 jobs since the early 1980's; threatening the UK's sovereign defence manufacturing capability at a time of international uncertainty.

Matt Roberts, GMB National Officer, said:- "At a time of international uncertainty and with the UK economy in crisis, it seems utterly perverse for the Conservatives to send a massive naval contract overseas. Sending parts of the FSS order to Spain rather than delivering all the work in the UK is an insult to our shipyards, including Cammell Laird. Our yards produce world-class ships but we urgently need investment and a steady pipeline of orders. The Defence Secretary must reassure GMB members and the public there will be adequate oversight to ensure foreign bidders cannot and do not renege on their obligations. The UK should prioritise the maintenance and strengthening of our sovereign defence manufacturing capabilities. Once again the Conservatives are showing they cannot be trusted with our nation's security."


Stagecoach extends UK wide free travel for veterans and military personnel to include cadets on Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday

STAGECOACH has confirmed its ongoing commitment to the armed forces by extending its new policy of free travel for veterans and military personnel to include cadets who wish to attend remembrance services. Free travel will be valid on its bus and tram services right across the UK on Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday.

The commitment to free travel, which is now in its second year, comes on the back of the launch of Stagecoach's employee led Veteran's Network. The network was launched last year to allow Stagecoach colleagues to come together as 1 voice to make change, raise awareness, help influence business decisions and introduce new ways of working to make the company even stronger.

As a cause that is close to the hearts of its employees and customers, Stagecoach has been a long time supporter of the Poppy Appeal, and in addition to free travel on:- 11 November and 13 November 2022, Stagecoach will be operating a number of Poppy Buses across its network. Poppies will also be displayed on the front of buses across the country with some destination blinds showing the messaging:- "We will remember them."

Employees across Stagecoach will also respect the 2 minutes silence and where safe to do so, drivers may pull over to honour this.

Stagecoach has also been a member of the Armed Force Covenant since March 2015, recognising the value of serving personnel, regular and reservists, veterans and military families to both the country and businesses across the country.

With Remembrance services planned at memorials across UK, it is hoped that people wishing to pay their respects will take up the offer to travel for free to the service of their choice.

This commitment from Stagecoach allows for the business to unite and to offer free travel to all military, ex-military and cadet customers and it will continue each year on Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday  as well as Armed Forces Weekend.

Simon Tramalloni, Operations Manager in Preston and Chorley is co-lead for the Stagecoach Veterans Network. He previously served in the Armed Forces serving in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Africa and the Middle East. He said:- "After the idea came about last year, I am so proud that we are now able to offer this to military cadets and celebrate a second year of offering free travel to military and ex-military personnel. Stagecoach has a strong commitment to supporting the armed forces and our veterans, and we have thousands of ex forces personnel working across our business. The Veterans Network is allowing us to build on the work that Stagecoach has led over many years to identify how else we can support those veterans already working for us and those that may want to come and join the company. Remembrance Day and the Poppy Appeal are causes close to the hearts of many of our employees and customers and we are very pleased to be making this commitment that will hopefully help people to attend memorials across the UK."


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