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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 March 2018

Whole lotta shakin' goin' on in Merseyside DOO dispute

The RMT picket line in Birkenhed was joined by Elvis (fourth from left), 3.3.18, photo by Hugh Caffrey

The RMT picket line in Birkenhed was joined by Elvis (fourth from left), 3.3.18, photo by Hugh Caffrey   (Click to enlarge)

Hugh Caffrey

Saturday 3 March saw another solid strike across the Arriva Northern and Merseyrail railway franchises by guards defending their jobs.

Cost-cutting management, in cahoots with the Tory government and local Labour councils, want to axe the role of safety-critical guards and move to driver-only operation (DOO), which is both unwanted and unsafe.

Arriva refuses to even meet with the RMT union, while paying scabs bonuses for crossing picket lines. Merseyrail, under the direction of local Labour councillors, continues to spin and posture while city region mayor Steve Rotheram fools no one with his continued pretence that it's nothing to do with him.

Support

The mood of pickets was high because of overwhelming public support for them and for renationalising the railways.

Pickets at Birkenhead Central were pleased that Jeremy Corbyn has retweeted campaign material by the RMT about the need to keep the guards - the first time he has supported the guards' dispute. But they were even more pleased that 'Elvis' joined the picket line (see photo)!

Socialist Party members distributed a leaflet encouraging RMT members to consider standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in May's council elections against the Labour politicians driving DOO, with several strikers saying they were interested in doing so.

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In The Socialist 7 March 2018:


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Related links:

Merseyside:

triangleGuards move closer to beating driver-only operation

triangleMerseyside fire authority forced to postpone night closures

trianglePressure building on councillors to stop fire service cuts

triangle#NorthernFail: 250 rail services cancelled

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Lotta:

triangleEyewitness report: Italian students occupy

RMT:

triangleLeeds meeting backs striking rail guards

triangleTube strike solid against victimisation

triangleDozens of militant trade unionists to address Socialism 2018

Labour:

triangleNewham by-election: We need anti-austerity councillors

triangleEngaging book about Corbyn's rise doesn't provide answers on how to change Labour

Socialist:

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Art & politics

Merseyrail:

triangleSupport RMT strikes against the elimination of guards on trains

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleCrowds turn out for Corbyn in Rugby

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleTUSC suspends electoral activity

Elections:

triangleGermany: Bavarian elections and huge anti-racist demonstration mark an historic weekend

Birkenhead:

triangleWirral Socialist Party: The future of TUSC

Council elections:

triangleEast London public square threat halted

Councillors:

triangleUnions and campaigners challenge Southampton cuts inside Labour and out

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