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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-24-03

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page

 

Railway Union, RMT to strike on Grand National day!

THE UK's Railway Union, RMT, on 21 March 2017, have confirmed that a new strike will take place on the day of The Grand National, on Saturday, 8 April 2017. The strike will last for just under 24 hours, between 00:01 hours and 23:59 hours. This has worried many businesses who rely on visitors to the world famous steeplechase, that first started in 1839, that this strike might have major knock on effect to visitor numbers. the RMT claim that:- "Merseyrail have wrecked talks over the crucial issue of the future of the safety critical role of the guard and they have no option, but to take further action." It is also being reported that Drivers will also be on strike over this issue, but we have not had that officially confirmed as of yet.

In addition, the RMT have told us that they will be stepping up the campaign, involving the general public and targeting politicians across the areas served by Merseyrail. The areas affected have very mixed reactions to this action and the RMT now aims at maximising political and public support for RMT's fight for a guaranteed guard on the company's services.

RMT General secretary Mick Cash said:-
"It is disgraceful that Merseyrail wrecked a golden opportunity to engage in serious talks with the union yesterday. RMT reps set out key points for discussion that could have moved the dispute forwards, Merseyrail kicked that conciliatory approach back in our faces and made it crystal clear that all that they are interested in is the union signing a surrender document which gives them a free hand to rip apart the safety culture on the railway. It is that cynical and hostile stance from Merseyrail which has left us with no option, but to put on this additional strike action. RMT recognises the severe impact that the action will have on Grand National Day but we are dealing with an employer that refuses to listen or engage with the union on the critical issue of safe rail operation and we ask the public to understand that we have no option, but to take this high profile action, to force the company back to the negotiating table. There is ample time between now and 8 April 2017, for genuine talks to take place and for a safe and sustainable deal that protects the future safety across Merseyrail services to be put in place. The company should take up that offer of further talks as a matter of urgency. Merseyrail are completely ignoring the clear wishes of their own passengers, who overwhelmingly oppose the idea of Driver Only Operated trains on their network. That pig headed attitude has forced the union's hand and the idea that we would compromise on the fundamental issue of rail safety is absurd. The ball is now firmly in Merseyrail's court."

 

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