Socialist Worker

Rail strikes called for the holidays

Issue No. 2584

Merseyrail pickets at Liverpool Lime Street station

Merseyrail pickets at Liverpool Lime Street station (Pic: RMT)

RMT union members working for Arriva Cross Country services struck last Friday and Saturday in a dispute over rostering and Sunday working.

Some stations had no Cross Country services at all.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said Arriva was “dishing out cash bungs to a dangerous scab army of under-cooked management recruits to try and break the action”.

Workers were due to strike on 24 and 31 December.

Now the union says that because of the“shocking attitude of the company management” they’ve called two extra strike days—23 and 27 December.

Merseyrail workers are set to strike again against the introduction of driver-only operation (DOO) trains.

They’ve announced a 24-hour walkout on Friday 22 December. If Arriva bus workers reject their latest pay offer they will be out in Liverpool too.

It’s the latest action by RMT union members in a dispute that has been running since March. DOO will make train travel unsafe and inaccessible.

The RMT said the dispute would be resolved if Merseyside Labour politicians “supported their safety-critical rail staff, instead of acting as human shields for profiteering rail companies”.

RMT union members on Virgin West Coast services will strike on Friday 15 December and plan further action in a dispute over pay.

The ballot for strikes saw a huge level of support with nearly 1,800 train Managers, on board catering, station, clerical and retail grades on the West Coast route from Glasgow to Euston voting by over nine to one in favour of action.

The RMT is demanding an equal pay offer to that received by drivers. 

Further strikes are planned for 22 December, 5 January and 8 January.

Strikes are planned on South Western Railway and Greater Anglia in separate disputes over guards and safety.

On Greater Anglia the strike is set for Wednesday 27 December. On South Western it is planned for Sunday 31 December.

Earlier this week the guards’ RMT union met transport secretary Chris Grayling and the rail minister Paul Maynard to try and resolve all of the current rail safety disputes.

But as a result of the meeting, said the RMT, there seemed to be “contradictory messages, confusion and lack of clarity” coming from ministers that made it extremely difficult to negotiate.


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