Belfast Telegraph

Merseyrail and Tube passengers face disruption amid industrial action

Rail workers at two companies have launched industrial action ahead of a fresh wave of strikes which will cause travel chaos for passengers.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Merseyrail and London Underground are banning overtime and taking other forms of action.

The Merseyrail dispute is about the role of conductors, while maintenance workers on LU are involved in a row over a series of issues, with the union claiming that industrial relations have broken down.

RMT members at Merseyrail, Arriva Trains North and Southern Railway will stage a 24-hour strike next Monday in disputes over staffing and the role of conductors.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "Our campaign of industrial action kicks off today as our members send the clearest possible message to Merseyrail that RMT is prepared to stand up and fight for public safety and the guard guarantee.

"The union's position on driver-only operation is perfectly clear. We will not agree to any introduction of DOO and will fight to retain the safety-critical role of the guard and to keep a guard on the train.

"It is the failure of Merseyrail to give guarantees on those basic principles that has led to the current dispute and the campaign of industrial action."

On the Tube dispute, he said: "The current level of flagrant abuse and ignorance of long-standing policies and procedures by London Underground is appalling.

"The continued failures by the management side have left us with no option but to begin a campaign of industrial action."

A Transport for London spokesman said: "We urge the RMT leadership to work with us constructively on the issues it has raised rather than threaten unnecessary industrial action."

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