Two more days of rail strikes

Ormskirk Advertiser - - News - BY AN­DREW BROWN an­drew.brownNW@trin­i­tymir­ @visan­drew­brown

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?”

Orm­skirk sta­tion – rail ser­vices be­tween Orm­skirk and Liverpool will be af­fected by two days of strike ac­tion next week

How the new driver-only trains could look on Mersey­side

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