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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 April 2017

Walkout on three rail networks against driver-only operated trains

Workers at three rail companies are striking together against unsafe staffing cuts, photo Paul Mattsson

Workers at three rail companies are striking together against unsafe staffing cuts, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

RMT union members

Further strike action across the country's rail network will take place on 8 April as the transport union RMT continues to fight the further introduction of driver-only operation (DOO) on Southern Rail, Northern Rail and Merseyrail. The strike will come days after drivers on Southern Rail again rejected an offer from the leadership of their union Aslef to settle the dispute.

Aslef should now approach the RMT to plan coordinated action. The disputes with all three train operating companies are centred on the RMT's campaign to keep guards on all trains. Contrary to much media reporting, the dispute cannot be reduced to who operates the automatic doors on trains.

Guards play a whole number of safety-critical roles on trains, especially in emergency situations. With rail companies receiving massive public subsidies, rail workers and passengers are entitled to two members of staff on trains.

The action on 8 April, which will hit Merseyrail on the day of the Grand National horse race, will be the second such action since workers on Merseyrail and Northern Rail joined Southern guards in taking strike action against DOO.

Rejected

Many train drivers, who are overwhelmingly organised in Aslef, have refused to cross RMT picket lines, especially on Merseyrail. All credit is due to these drivers and to Aslef members who rejected an earlier miserable sell-out deal cooked up by the leaders of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Aslef to settle the drivers' dispute over DOO on Southern Rail, before rejecting another on 3 April.

RMT guards fight on. The dispute on Southern Rail is a year old and guards have not given in, in spite of the government backing Southern to the hilt with taxpayers' money to try and defeat RMT's resistance.

This fight deserves the full support of the TUC, yet the RMT was excluded from talks between the employer, Aslef and the TUC. This should offend every trade union member in the country.

The very idea that the TUC should intervene to undermine a strike in this way is outrageous. Trade union branches should be passing resolutions to their own national executives calling on the movement to speak out against this TUC intervention and to support RMT guards.

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In The Socialist 5 April 2017:


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Communities and health workers unite to...resist cruel NHS cuts

NHS SOS round-up


What we think

Fight for a socialist Brexit


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight Tories' callous cuts pushing 200,000 more kids into poverty

Labour group to discipline councillors for resisting Haringey gentrification scheme

Gagged Jobstown defendants defiantly expose the Irish state

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Horrific attack on Croydon asylum seeker

Far right humiliated in London - but trade unions must organise against racism and austerity


Food

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TUSC to challenge for the Merseyside 'metro-mayor'

NHS worker to stand for mayor of Doncaster


Socialist Party workplace news

Walkout on three rail networks against driver-only operated trains

Ferrybridge workers protest against 'race to bottom'

Solid Picturehouse picket and protest

Bromley library workers strike against privatisation

Hackney children's inclusion unit forced to strike

Support Len McCluskey and United Left candidates before ballot closes

PCS payday protests


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Homeless due to the housing crisis

Rents up 40% - can't pay, will stay!

Name and shame the worst behaviour by housing associations


International socialist news and analysis

Turkey: Erdogan seeks sweeping dictatorial powers in referendum

Fukushima nuclear disaster - a terrifying legacy

Justice for Yemen workers


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Financial hardship facing millions of cancer sufferers

The Socialist Inbox

Courageous Ebola nurse Salomé Karwah dies


 

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