Merseyrail – The continuing RMT dispute & an interesting short video of the new trains that have sparked it

Merseyrail’s new Stadler Train

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

Can’t help thinking that Merseytravel (as opposed to Merseyrail) in effect fired the starting gun for this dispute by not finding an agreement with the guards union RMT before they ordered trains that would operate without guards.

3 thoughts on “Merseyrail – The continuing RMT dispute & an interesting short video of the new trains that have sparked it

  1. nvelope2003 says:

    If they had tried to get an agreement with the RMT first the trains would have been out of date by the time they were delivered. Somebody had to take a decision.

    • Yes I realise that the RMT are being painted as the problem here but in my long experience of industrial relations my view is that if you seriously try to engage a trade union in constructive dialogue then often a way forward can be found. It’s when unions are treated as a nuisance that they they tend to dig their heels in. The history of British industrial relations does us little credit, indeed it has caused us all huge problems. The system of constructive industrial relations and worker participation in Germany, for example, shows how much better things can be organised I my view.

  2. Phil Holden says:

    Your opinion reflects well on you, Tony and ideally it should be exactly as you say. Indeed, I’ve seen and experienced it in both the UK and Germany. But there are some industries, usually those that have been around a long, long time, where the views are just too entrenched. If the RMT felt that the railway was under an existential threat and could never compete without reduced staffing then they might be prepared to contemplate driver operation. But they know it won’t come to that; the railway is a public “good”. And the government knows management can’t negotiate these changes up front with the unions. So, as nvelope203 says, decisions have to be taken, fait accompli presented and we get into the sorry mess we now see. For what it’s worth, I would be nearer to your approach: negotiate up front, but make it clear that change will have to happen. I realise this is a bit like forewarning the enemy of your intentions (or giving a “running commentary” maybe) and so there is a risk of just as much disruption and ultimate failure to implement the change, but it still feels right to me to at least try to reach agreement.

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