CARLISLE Socialist Party has congratulated the RMT rail workers’ union on forcing Northern Rail to back down on removing train guards.

The party claims all passengers, who would have been left unprotected without safety-trained guards, will welcome the victory.

Secretary Brent Kennedy told the News & Star: "We all owe a debt of gratitude to the low-paid rail workers who have sacrificed a day’s pay for so many weeks over the last two years to maintain their jobs and our safety.

"As well as standing on their picket lines throughout, Socialist Party members also handed out hundreds of RMT leaflets from city centre stalls every week in September and October, collecting signatures of support for the strike from 900 members of the public.

"We presented this petition of solidarity, demanding 'Keep rail guards' and 'Nationalise the railways', to rail workers outside the Citadel station to show them and the company the strength of public opinion.

"Many local workers in other unions were poised to demonstrate their support in a Day of Solidarity planned by Carlisle Trades Union Council for Saturday, February 16.

"Hopefully the RMT confirms through negotiations what it has won through action and no further strike days will be necessary."