RMT Press Office
Merseyrail ‘telling desperate lies’ over Guards dispute, says RMT
MERSEYRAIL is resorting to desperate lies and distortions to hide the reality that it has lost the argument and is now also losing the strike over the need for safety-trained Guards, the network’s biggest union says today.
Following four 100-per-cent-solid days of strike action by RMT guards and drivers, and with a fifth to come on July 23, the union has condemned Merseyrail’s misinformation campaign.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:
“Desperate Merseyrail bosses have been touting a story that we have agreed the introduction of new driver-only routes on Great Western.
“That is simply not true. The GWR deal states quite clearly that the company has no intention of extending driver-only operation with the introduction of new Inter-City Express trains.
“Not only will every service that has a guard today continue to have one when the new IEP trains are introduced, but some services currently run driver-only will actually have guards restored – and that is RMT’s policy.
“We have already told Merseyrail that if they offer us the same deal as we have with GWR we will have the basis for agreement, because it will guarantee the second safety-critical crew member that we – and the vast majority of Merseyrail passengers – know is necessary.”
RMT North West Regional Organiser John Tilley said:
“Merseyrail are also spinning the line that we are only striking because of some diktat from London.
“That is an insult to the guards and drivers who have voted overwhelmingly for action to defend rail safety and whose wishes have been central to planning our industrial campaign.
“Anyone looking for a London link would do well to turn the spotlight on the Department for Transport, which has been orchestrating the campaign to undermine rail safety by de-staffing our railways in the interests of maximising profits.
“It was the DfT’s rail chief Peter Wilkinson who called for ‘punch-ups’ with the rail unions over driver-only operation long before our dispute began.
“RMT has already negotiated a deal with TransPennine Express to guarantee a guard on new trains being introduced at the same time as the new Merseyrail stock, so we know it can be done.
“Rather than persist with a cynical campaign of lies and distortions, Merseyrail should put get around the table to negotiate a sensible deal that puts passengers and safety ahead of its profits.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! Jer-e-my Cor-byn