Merseyrail Workers To Take Strike Action Over Guards On Trains

30 July 2019, 17:34

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers RMT strike action Merseyrail
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) is due to take strike action. Picture: PA

Workers on Merseyrail are to stage a series of fresh strikes in the coming months after the long-running dispute over guards on trains flared up again, the RMT union said.

Cross Country Trains tweeted that it will be running a significantly reduced service on Sunday 4 August due to the strike action.

What is the strike about?

The dispute is related to onboard staffing arrangements on the new trains, which will enter service in 2020 and replace the current fleet.

Drivers, not guards, will be responsible for opening and closing doors on the new trains.

The new trains will no longer need guards, although around sixty on-board customer service positions will be created.

The RMT union, representing many Merseyrail guards, doesn’t support these changes.

The RMT Union's campaign says that guards are important for security, for preventing emergency situations, anti-social behaviour, sexual assaults and for providing assistance to passengers with disabilities.

Their petition #KeepTheGuardOnTheTrain states that it should be a legal requirement to have a second safety critical person on trains.

The RMT Union's dispute with Merseyrail has already resulted in 16 days of industrial action since the spring of 2017.