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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-07-04

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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RMT hits back over Merseyrail claims

THE UK railway union, the RMT have hit back at Merseyrail's continued media campaign aimed at smearing the vital safety critical role of the guard.  RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:- "This dispute is not and never has been about who opens and closes the doors. The dispute is about whether we have a second safety trained person on ALL of Merseyrail's fleet or if we operate the new trains with just a driver locked up front in their cab. Merseyrail admitted at the face to face talks held with RMT, on 20 March 2017, that their proposed method of operation had not been validated, and was not in use anywhere on the UK rail network. Indeed it is precisely because of recommendation number 1 of the RAIB report into the fatal accident, at James Street, Liverpool, that RMT are questioning the safety of the proposed operation, and are putting forward a sensible alternative." RMT regional organiser John Tilley added:- "The RMT has had no contact at all from Merseyrail since we announced the date of 8 April 2017, for our action, nearly 3 weeks ago, other than to receive a lengthy letter drafted by Merseyrail's expensive lawyers complaining about a dog being on 1 of our picket lines. The only issues that Merseyrail wish us to talk about are redundancy payments and retraining. The only other letter we have received is from Merseytravel Chief Executive Frank Rodgers, in which he threatens to remove the so called jobs guarantee, that they claim is a key part of their offer. Since announcing this strike date RMT has been working behind the scenes with many other parties in the City to put together a road map out of this dispute. We call upon Merseyrail to agree to talks about how they can contribute to that process, they hold the purse strings that can unlock this deadlock."


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