Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1009/27927

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 September 2018

Guards move closer to beating driver-only operation on Merseyrail giving confidence to other strikes

Striking RMT members, photo by Socialist Party

Striking RMT members, photo by Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

An RMT union member

"The feeling from RMT [transport union] guards at Merseyrail is that we will win with the continued support from the Aslef [drivers' union] drivers and from the Merseyside public", we told the Socialist in March. After 16 days of solid strike action over the last 18 months an announcement was made on 31 August pushing back the bosses' attempts to move to driver-only operation.

This announcement came after six months of talks between Merseyrail and the RMT at conciliation service Acas. The 'deal' was hailed by some in the media as an end of the long-running dispute because Merseyrail had agreed in 'principle' and pending finance to keep a second member of staff on every train.

In reality, Merseyrail's position has moved very little from its original stance of having a second person on every train after 8pm at night. In previous statements made by Merseyrail management clearly stated a second person could be classed as an onboard cleaner, ticket inspector or security worker.

This ambiguous wording from Merseyrail and Liverpool metro-mayor Steve Rotheram has caused alarm among Merseyrail guards, as the words 'safety critical' haven't been mentioned. It's clearly obvious to all that these roles are not trained to a safety-critical standard.

A safety-critical train guard will, if not incapacitated, be required to assist with emergency safety in the event of an accident.

All Merseyrail guards and drivers who have shown outstanding solidarity throughout this dispute can see this agreement for what it is, which is, unacceptable to guards in its current form.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Socialist Party for the truly outstanding work they've done during this dispute throwing their support behind every picket line, through their constant campaigning on stalls in Birkenhead and Liverpool and during the six months of no strike action, when many of the general public thought the Merseyrail guards' dispute had been resolved due to the lack of publicity in the local press.

The facts are, this dispute could easily be resolved by now if the Liverpool regional transport committee's - dominated by Labour councillors - reverses its decision under the instructions of metro-mayor Steve Rotheram and Liverpool city mayor Joe Anderson, who are both elected Labour mayors. Unfortunately Rotheram has said he thinks the strike action is "unreasonable".

Jeremy Corbyn has commented on Twitter that he fully supports the retention of guards on trains, yet Rotheram and Anderson ignore him. It's clear to all that Labour is two parties in one. This dispute ultimately shows that.


South Western Railway

Pickets at Salisbury station on 8 September were determined to carry on their action against driver-only operated trains. They have been bolstered by the overwhelming 88% vote to renew the mandate for strike action. They said the issue remains one of the safety of the passengers on the train and at the number of stations on the Salisbury line which are unmanned late at night.

One of the pickets said that South Western Railway is putting profits before public service. Money from ticket sales is given to shareholders rather than being invested in the railway. There have been cuts in cleaning, maintenance and servicing to rolling stock on the Salisbury line.

RMT members on South Western Railway have been forced to re-ballot under Tory anti-trade union legislation. RMT president Sean Hoyle says: "The 88% vote for renewed strike action on South Western Railway with a 71% turnout will be a huge boost to RMT pickets striking on 15 September, fighting to ensure the safety-critical role of the guard and protecting safety for the travelling public and workers."

Jane Ward

Arriva Rail North

The RMT took its 26th day of strike action against driver-only operation on Arriva Rail North on 8 September.

In Newcastle the strikers are clearly committed and the picket line is as strong as ever. One of the strikers commented that this participation was mirrored by guards taking industrial action across Arriva Rail North.

Strikers also commented that it was clear that the company is struggling to run trains on strike days.

Public support for the strike is growing, as it becomes increasingly clear that this strike is about passenger safety.

Messages of support to m.thompson@rmt.org.uk

Elaine Brunskill

Leeds Young Socialists joined RMT pickets on 1 September to support their strike action in defence of the safety-critical role of the guard on Arriva Rail North trains.

At the picket line, Young Socialists unveiled our banner backing the RMT's action and calling for the nationalisation of the railways. We met a good response from passers-by. The overwhelming majority supported keeping guards on trains and were more than happy to take the RMT's leaflets from us.

RMT members are striking every Saturday in September. We'll be going down again to support them, including on the Leeds Trade Union Council day of action on 15 September. And we are planning our own mobilisation again for 22 September.

Leeds Young Socialists

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 12 September 2018:


What we think

Corbyn must lead in fight against the Blairites


News

Tories in chaos - general election now!

Enfield North Labour Party votes 'no confidence' in its MP

4m children in homes that can't afford fruit and veg

Fearful bosses call for 'fairer capitalism'...

School students in solitary: for full funding, not exclusion!

Them & Us


Financial crash

10 years since the financial crash - the socialist answer to capitalist crisis


Workplace

NSSN rally: militant trade unionists share ideas to win for workers

TUC congress Brexit debate: unions must lead fight for a general election

Guards move closer to beating driver-only operation on Merseyrail giving confidence to other strikes

Cardiff Uber Eats couriers strike back against bosses

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Nicaragua: With the people against the Ortega government and imperialism

Support for Putin's regime dips over major attacks on state pensions

Sweden: left and far right gain as establishment parties falter

Ireland housing occupations


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Catford campaign against regeneration

Students unite and fight - free education now!

Reading council plans privatisation - set a no-cuts budget instead!

EDL outnumbered and confronted in Worcester

Fight against billionaire Newcastle boss Mike Ashley continues


Opinion

When working class women dominated football

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 12 September 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Merseyrail:

triangleSupport RMT strikes against the elimination of guards on trains

triangleGuards continue fight against driver-only operation

triangle#NorthernFail: 250 rail services cancelled

triangleWe feel that we will win - a striker speaks

triangleWhole lotta shakin' goin' on in DOO dispute

Strikes:

triangleEast London uni and bin worker strikes

triangleAnti-academy strikes kick off in Redbridge

triangleAnti-academy strikes growing

triangleEast London school strikes against academisation continue

Rail:

triangleTransport union RMT tells members: refuse to work in unsafe conditions

triangleThe Red Line - Bulletin of Socialist Party members in the RMT

triangleNationalise the railways: For an integrated public transport system

South Western Railway:

triangleTrade unionists say "defend the right to strike!"

triangleIt's a strike to ensure the safety of the travelling public

Arriva Rail North:

triangleArriva Rail North cleaners fight bosses' punitive pay arrears

RMT:

triangleP&O: defend every job - nationalise the ferries

Strike:

triangleTower Hamlets council strike

Trains:

triangleDefend the right to strike! Southampton solidarity meeting

Liverpool:

triangleLiverpool & District Socialist Party: Justice for victims of police violence

Transport:

triangleFight continues for safety on London buses

Merseyside:

triangleTony Mulhearn - a Eulogy

Birkenhead:

triangleWirral Socialist Party: Brazil - Bolsanaro and the rise of the far right

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/7/20

Bangladesh

Bangladesh: Stop closure and privatisation of Jute Mills

1/7/20

Fighting Fund

Fighting Fund: Target smashed by half time

1/7/20

PCS

Change in leadership needed to secure union's future

1/7/20

Black Lives Matter

BLM has not stopped - protesters flock to Socialists

1/7/20

Ken Douglas

Red flags line road for Ken

1/7/20

Leeds

Leeds City Council in danger of bankruptcy

1/7/20

Socialist

socialism2020

1/7/20

Equity

Trade unionists stand in solidarity with Maxine Peake

1/7/20

Equity

Equity union president elections: fight for resources for all

1/7/20

The Socialist

Selling the Socialist

1/7/20

Cardiff

Cardiff community fights nursery closure: Council must step in

1/7/20

NSSN

Come to the NSSN conference

1/7/20

Sunday trading

Sunday trading: Government blinks first

1/7/20

Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets council strike

1/7/20

Ministry of Justice

MoJ cleaners' covid outbreak

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999