Socialist Worker

Train guards' action Action coming at Northern, Southern and Merseyrail

Issue No. 2569

A Merseyrail train, where guards in the RMT union are set to strike

A Merseyrail train, where guards in the RMT union are set to strike (Pic: Richie wright1980/Wikimedia Commons)

The RMT rail union plans coordinated strikes against bosses’ push to extend driver only operation (DOO) and get rid of guards. This is a plan driven by the Tory government.

Workers at three companies—Southern, Northern and Merseyrail—were set to walk out on Friday of this week.

Guards on Southern are to begin a four-day strike that day. Merseyrail workers are then back out on 3 and 4 September. Northern workers will walk out again on 4 September.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash condemned a “transport summit” last week that was supposed to discuss plans for the north of England.

“The summit is a total fraud that has no involvement from the workforce who are out there day in day out struggling to hold services together,” he said.

“Meanwhile both Merseyrail and Northern Rail press ahead with plans to axe guards and reduce their trains to a dangerous, inaccessible shell.

“RMT will be stepping up the campaign for safe and accessible rail for all under public ownership.”

Meanwhile bosses at Greater Anglia said in a radio interview that they are close to a deal with the union over guards.

But the union says that no such commitment has been received.

It wants clarification of the bosses’ position, and meanwhile a ballot for strikes continues.

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