The RMT strike explained: Why Southern, Northern and Merseyrail passengers face commuter hell

The Southern Rail impasse has now spread to the Northern and Merseyrail networks

The dispute seems likely to drag on for months (Picture: RMT)

Monday, March 13, 2017

After a year of strikes on the Southern Rail network, it seems the Rail, Maritime and Transport union is branching out.

No longer are its rail strikes restricted to a single line between London and the South-East. Now customers across the north of England are being made to feel the pain as well.

Critics have, naturally, excoriated the RMT for its perceived instransigence, suggesting the strike has no justification. But the RMT, for its part, says the issues at stake are far more complex than people realise and the media depiction is grossly unfair.

But what exactly is the nub of the issue? What exactly is so contentious that it requires so much chaos and disruption? Well we've created a simple video to demonstrate the key issues at stake.

This conflict has already been dragging on for over a year on the Southern network, and given it's now spread northward it's likely to continue for weeks, or even months, to come. But by watching our explainer you can arm yourself with knowledge for the bombardment of news ahead.