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Union in plea to Mayor of Liverpool over rail strike on Grand National day

The biggest rail union is seeking an urgent meeting with the Mayor of Liverpool to help resolve a dispute which threatens a strike on the day of the Grand National.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Merseyrail are due to walk out for 24 hours on April 8 in a row over driver-only operation on new trains.

General secretary Mick Cash has written to Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson calling for him to intervene to break the deadlock.

He said: "There is an opportunity for both having modern new trains and keeping a guard on the train, yet the company have refused point-blank to agree to this.

"It seems that the company position is that the new trains will be paid for by passengers losing their guards and our members losing their jobs while the company lose nothing, instead carrying on making a huge profit - with much of these profits going to Dutch state- owned Abellio.

"I would like to know, as Mayor or Liverpool, what exactly you plan to do to assist in resolving this dispute.

"The people of Liverpool, and our members, will also want to know whether are you going to side with the private operators Serco and Dutch state-owned Abellio, who own Merseyrail, or with the passengers and the unions who wish to keep the guarantee of a guard on their trains."

RMT members on Southern Railway and Arriva Trains North will also strike on April 8 in similar disputes.

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