The biggest rail workers’ union has welcomed support from MPs for its campaign to retain guards on trains, ahead of a fresh wave of strikes.
A Commons motion backed by Labour MPs including Dan Carden (Liverpool Walton) and Chris Matheson (Chester) “recognises the vital role that guards play in providing advice and assistance and deterring criminal and anti-social behaviour”.
The motion says cuts to guards are being planned by Merseyrail even though the company paid out up to £14 million a year or one quarter of all passenger income, in dividends.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “This renewed political support for the RMT campaign to keep the guard on Merseyrail trains follows the Labour Party’s popular manifesto policy opposing any further expansion of driver only trains.
“There is now massive political and public opposition to getting rid of guards and we can only assume that Merseyrail are being driven by an old fashioned, union busting, profit maximising agenda.
“We are once again calling for meaningful talks so that we can reach a deal similar to those elsewhere where new trains are being introduced which keep the guard.”
RMT members on Merseyrail will strike on Saturday, next Monday and on July 23, while a three day walkout will be held on Arriva Trains North from Saturday and a 24-hour stoppage on Southern on Monday in separate disputes over staffing and driver only trains.