12 September 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT welcomes TUC backing in Merseyrail guards' dispute as 14000 back passengers petition to keep the guard on the train.
RMT today welcomed a unanimous vote at the TUC this morning for the campaign against driver only operation on Merseyrail and other franchises where the union is engaged in disputes over safety.
The TUC has passed a motion promising to maximise support for Merseyrail and workers on Southern, Northern, Greater Anglia and South Western Railway involved in fights to keep the guarantee of the guard on the train.
The decision came as 14,000 members of the public to date had signed up to a petition begun by a young female Merseyrail passenger who has praised a Merseyrail Guard who came to her assistance to protect her from a predatory passenger. (Details of the case and the petition below.)
So last night I was getting the train home from a fab night, had a bit to drunk and was very vulnerable. Waited at Liverpool central for the train to Ellesmere Port and I got the 9:30 train. Let the guard at the station know I needed that train to make sure I got on it.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
"RMT welcomes the unanimous support of the entire trade union movement for our campaigns to keep the guards on our trains which now stretch right across the country.
"The Government and their private rail contractors need to understand that we have national support from millions of workers for the fight to put rail safety before private profit.
"This unanimous vote is a massage shot in the arm for RMT's national campaign to defend the guards on our trains."
Notes to editors
The petition by Ellie Ward on the 38 Degrees site says the following,
“So last night I was getting the train home from a fab night, had a bit to drunk and was very vulnerable. Waited at Liverpool central for the train to Ellesmere Port and I got the 9:30 train. Let the guard at the station know I needed that train to make sure I got on it. Finally got on the train where I sat next to the window and put my bag and shoes next to me whilst I went onto my phone.
About half way through the journey the train guard came down and sat opposite, asked if I was ok and mentioned where I was getting off to then he asked me to come sit further up the train to ensure I got off safely. Few stops went past and he gestured to another young woman to come down and sit near him so she did.. as she was trying to get a taxi to which she couldn't. He then told us a man had been following me down the train and looking through the reflection and eyeing me up and standing right behind my chair. Unsure of his intentions. Then when I got moved he then began to do the same to the other lady.
If it wasn't for the guard being very vigilant and observing what was going on I wouldn't know what could have happened to myself or the other lady. Especially due to the past few days there has been a number of sexual assaults.
My boyfriend was waiting for me just over the bridge who then took the other lady home so she was safe.
This is why we need the train guards to protect those who maybe vulnerable on trains and to diffuse any situation that may happen. This is why We need to say NO to driver only trains, I am very grateful to that guard and the way Merseyrail delt with the situation.
Why is saving money and cuts more important than people's safety?”