Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham Urged To Call A Halt To Merseyrail Cuts Madness
On first anniversary of Merseyrail guards' dispute, RMT demands that Metro Mayor calls a halt to the madness of putting passengers at risk and increasing train driver's stress.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
“This dispute has needlessly dragged on for a year now due to the fact that it hasn’t cost the employer, Merseyrail, a single penny piece. Liverpool City Region council tax payers are having to secretly repay Merseyrail all of their losses and costs of the year long strike in a public bail out of epic proportions. Local people are paying to finance a potentially lethal policy that they have made it clear they don't support."
Further revelations in terms of just who is paying for these staff cuts and introduction of driver only trains. Mike Cash said:
"RMT has learned that the vast majority of Labour councillors have not been told by the senior council leaders that their local authorities are bankrolling this private, cash rich train company. It is an absolute scandal that just as councillors are agonising over budget cuts; all six local authorities are exposed to an unknown amount of liability simply in order to write the Merseyrail bosses a blank cheque.
The private operators of the Merseyrail system are sitting at their desks piling up a mountain of receipts ready to hand them over to hard hit councils for payment, and councillors and the public are being kept in the dark about it by their leaders, it’s outrageous”
The broadside against Steve Rotherham comes at a time when the public are in support of the train drivers and condemn the risk to the travelling public, with numerous stories of guards intervening in aid of women and children on Merseyrail's trains; hitting the headlines.
With promises to cut Mersey Tunnel fees, and to improve public transport on Merseyside, coming to nothing along with the failure to condemn the imposition of Runcorn/Widnes Bridge tolls, the first Metro Mayor of Merseyside is not without many critics.
He has repeatedly refused to comment on the driver only train issue and his minor reduction in tunnel fees only affects those using the Tunnels in the evenings.
With the strikes still enjoying public support, it is clear that driver only trains are seen by the public for what they are - profit before public safety!
Mick Cash concluded:
"It’s time for Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham, and the leaders of the six councils, to call a halt to this madness. There is no reason why they cannot instruct Merseyrail to put a second safety critical member of staff on all of the new trains. If they can do it after 8pm they can do it for all of the Merseyrail services.
It was only last week that we saw a guard calm and inform passengers stranded for three hours on a train outside Old Roan station following a serious and frightening electrical failure due to snow.
That happened at half-six in the morning. The public are demanding to keep the guards on Merseyrail trains. On this first anniversary of the RMT dispute it's now time for the politicians to either listen to the people they claim to represent or stand down.”
Source: RMT / C Ingram