RMT opposes Merseyrail staffing plan

The day after Merseytravel announced its intention to acquire a fleet of brand new trains for the Merseyrail Electrics network, the RMT trade union voiced its total opposition to the idea that drivers on the new trains, rather than guards, would operate train doors at stations - the so-called Driver Controlled Operation.

The union says it wants to meet with Merseytravel and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority “to demand an input in the commissioning of new rolling stock - and will do everything in its power to defend nearly 400 jobs under threat”. Merseyrail has said it hopes there will be no compulsory redundancies, and that most (if not all) of the new trains will have two crew members on board while in service.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “We welcome the principle of new trains. But RMT, along with our sister union ASLEF, is opposed to any new driver-only or driver-controlled operation.

“We feel sure that the travelling public, as well as the region’s MPs and councillors, will be horrified at the thought of trains being run without them. The case for keeping guards is unanswerable and should be reflected in the bidding process. The bottom line is that we will not hesitate to defend our members’ jobs and public safety.”

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