Following the letter received today from the RMT, stating that they will ballot their members for industrial action, Merseyrail has made clear that we will work hard to prevent strikes from taking place, and are committed to continuing constructive discussions with union colleagues.
This dispute relates to the new fleet, which is set to be introduced on to the network by 2020. Procured by local transport executive, Merseytravel, new trains will be modern, safe, faster and comfortable with more capacity to support the economic growth of a vibrant city region.
They will not have guards, but we have pledged that any member of staff who is currently employed as a guard and wants to stay at Merseyrail, will be guaranteed employment in an alternative position once the new trains are introduced.
The soonest industrial action could take place is early next month. We will ensure that further developments surrounding industrial action will be communicated through a wide range of channels, including the Merseyrail website (www.merseyrail.org), Twitter (@merseyrail) at stations and on trains, as well as the local media.
As well as continuing dialogue with the unions, we will now focus our efforts on preparing for a possible strike, establishing how we can best provide a service, involving as little disruption as possible for passengers.