BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 10 January 2008, 11:43 GMT
Train company in pay docking row
Northern Rail train
Northern Rail operates services throughout the north of England
Rail union officials have accused a train company of docking the pay of staff who have been attacked at work.

The RMT union said industrial action was an option in the row with Northern Rail, which operates in the North East, Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire.

The union claims the company only gives staff time off with full pay if they suffer "severe physical injury".

The firm said its policy was in line with industry standards and had been agreed with trade unions.

The union's regional organiser Allen Heath said: "A few years ago we might have seen five or six staff who were the victim of attacks or abuse on trains. Now we have pages and pages of incidents.

We take assaults against our employees extremely seriously.
Northern Rail

"It is not acceptable for staff to be victims of abuse who are doing their normal duties.

"Nor is it acceptable for Northern Rail to penalise the people who have been injured, verbally or physically, while in effect policing their trains.

"This is not something we will walk away from and if it means taking action, then we will do so."

Mr Heath said the issue came to light after a conductor, who had been physically assaulted and threatened with a bottle, was told he would receive only basic pay, because the latest in a string of attacks on him had not been serious enough.

A spokeswoman for York-based Northern Rail said: "We take assaults against our employees extremely seriously.

"Our pay levels and care policy for employees who have been assaulted have been agreed in full consultation with the trade unions.

"We believe that they are in line with industry standards and in some areas they represent best practice in the industry."

Driver hurt as brick hits train
14 Aug 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Train guard hurt in glass attack
24 Aug 07 |  Lancashire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific