3 April 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT warns that Merseyrail Grand National scabbing operation will rip up the safety rule book.
Rail union RMT warned today that a scabbing operation set up by Merseyrail to run a skeleton service on Grand National day will put the public at risk – a fact openly admitted by Merseytravel Chairman Frank Rogers in his media briefings.
In a letter to Frank Rogers RMT regional organiser John Tilley says:
“I am writing to you in connection with the media release issued by Merseytravel on March 29, and specifically the following comment attributed to you, regarding the reduced service Merseyrail intends to run on April 8:
“The RMT’s claim that this issue is about passenger safety falls apart when they are prepared to put the travelling public at risk by deliberately putting more pressure on a much reduced network.”
You will be aware that it is Merseyrail’s legal responsibility – and not that of this trade union – to ensure the safe operation of its services, and that it is yours, as Merseytravel chief executive, to oversee the operation of Merseyrail.
It is astonishing, therefore, to see you admitting that the strike-breaking operation that Mereyrail intends to run, and that you presumably have approved, will result in additional risk to passengers using Merseyrail services on April 8.
I am therefore seeking your urgent clarification on this remark, which strongly suggests that Merseyrail, with Merseytravel approval, is knowingly and deliberately putting Merseyrail passengers at additional risk.
My union will also be taking this up as a matter of urgency with the Office of Rail Regulation. I await your urgent response.”
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Instead of ripping up the safety rule book, and scrambling round to run a high-risk, scab-operated skeleton service on the 8th April, Merseyrail should be back round the table with the union investing their time and energy in reaching a sustainable solution to this dispute which guarantees passenger safety.”
“The union is taking up the company plans for the 8th April with the safety regulator, the Office of Road and Rail. RMT will not stand aside and look on while the safety of the travelling public is compromised in this cavalier fashion.”