Two more days of rail strikes
RAIL workers’ trade union RMT says preparations are well under way for more strike action. Services affected next week will include those run by Merseyrail, including those between Southport and Liverpool and Ormskirk and Liverpool, and Northern, affecting services between Southport and Manchester.
The strikes on Merseyrail are likely to cause significant disruption, coinciding with the first phase of work to transform Liverpool Lime Street mainline station by the end of 2018.
The RMT says they are walking out over “the threat to guards and safety as private train operators press ahead with plans to extend driver only operation – putting private profits before public safety”.
The strike action will take place on Tuesday, October 3 and Thursday, October 5 in disputes on Merseyrail, Northern, Southern and Greater Anglia. The balloting process is also under way in a further dispute on South Western Railway.
Pickets will be out in force in all of the disputes.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “These strikes are about safety. They are about putting the safety and security of the travelling public before the profits of private companies, profits that in the most part are shipped overseas to subsidise transport services in Europe and China. “That is a national scandal. “It is disgraceful that we have been unable to get serious and meaningful talks going in any of these five disputes and that points clearly to the dead hand of the Government driving the faceless railway policy on purely ideological grounds and demanding that their contractors fall in line.
“RMT will not stand back while the guards, front-line staff when it comes to safety, security and access, are thrown off Britain’s trains for political and financial reasons.”
Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, Merseyrail’s managing director, said: “We are busy trying to build a better city region with an improved railway.
“The RMT seem to be doing everything in their power to destroy this work. Don’t they want Liverpool to succeed?”