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The News Line: News 3 TRAIN STRIKES
Southern picket at Victoria yesterday morning supported by Disabled People Against Cuts demanding safety and accessibility on all trains. Photo: RMT
TRAIN workers at three Rail companies across the country, Northern, Southern and Merseyrail were on strike simultaneously yesterday.

Northern rail staff were on the last day of a three-day strike, while Merseyrail staff were on strike for the day and also plan action on 23 July. RMT union members at Southern also walked out on a one-day strike. All three came out on strike demanding that the guards remain on the trains.

The companies want to introduce more ‘driver-only’ operations and remove the guards from the train which rail union RMT correctly insist puts passengers lives in danger. On Southern, an ASLEF union drivers overtime ban is in force and a revised timetable axing a quarter of services, was brought in on 28 June.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: ‘Once again yesterday morning safety-critical staff on Southern Rail are being forced by this rogue rail operator to take action in defence of safe and accessible services. It is a disgrace that Southern have chosen to continue their war on staff and passengers alike rather than negotiate a settlement that protects the principle of safe railways for all.

‘RMT members on Southern, Northern and Merseyrail remain absolutely rock-solid and determined in separate disputes that have the common objective of putting safe rail travel before private profit.’

• Yesterday a small boy almost fell from a moving train carriage on to the track below because the toilet floor was missing. His mother was able to catch him before he fell when she took him to the toilet on the Totnes Riverside to Buckfastleigh train in Devon.

Investigators said the floor had been removed for repairs to the carriage’s brakes but had not been replaced. The mother reported the incident to the guard of the train and the door was locked. Another example of the absolutely safety critical role that the guards play on the trains.


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