- RMT strike ballot opens
- Merseyrail writes to all guards about future opportunities within the business
- The soonest industrial action could take place is early March
The RMT will tomorrow begin balloting their members in relation to the new fleet, which is set to be introduced on to the network by 2020.
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.
Merseyrail managing director
Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, Merseyrail’s managing director, said: ‘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.
‘In preparation for industrial action, we are now focusing on how best to provide a service involving as little disruption as possible for passengers.’
The soonest strikes could take place is early next month. We will ensure that further developments 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.
The new trains will be procured by local transport executive, Merseytravel and will be modern, safe, faster and comfortable, with more capacity to support the vibrant city region.
They will not require guards, but there will be customer service staff on board, targeted at key locations and times. Other members of staff will be on the trains as well, including security professionals and cleaners.
We have pledged that any member of staff who is currently employed as a guard and wants to stay at Merseyrail, will be guaranteed permanent employment in an alternative position once the new trains are introduced.
This week, we have written to all guards, outlining the roles within Merseyrail that are likely to be open to them once the new fleet is brought in.