Three Merseyrail strikes called off after ‘significant progress’ in talks


The RMT union has called off three planned one-day strikes on the Merseyrail network following last-minute talks.

The first of the three days of action was due to take place this Saturday, August 24.

Further 24-hour strikes were planned for September 3, and 5.

But the RMT announced late on Thursday afternoon that it had suspended the planned walkouts on these dates, linked to the role of its guards on Merseyrail’s new £460m fleet of trains due to come into service next year.

Train operator Merseyrail said: “Following talks between Merseytravel, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and the RMT, we are pleased that the first three days of strike action on Saturday 24 August, Tuesday 3 and Thursday 5 September have been called off to allow further discussions to take place.

“A normal service will run on these dates.”

The RMT said: “Following a positive meeting with Steve Rotheram Metro Mayor, MerseyTravel and the RMT, fresh proposals have been made which represent significant progress in regards to addressing RMT’s concerns.

“In order to allow for further detailed discussion the RMT has agreed to suspend industrial action called for 24th August, 3rd and 5th September 2019.”

Mayor Rotheram said: “As a result of constructive talks yesterday between myself, Cllr Liam Robinson, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash and local RMT reps, I am pleased that a potential way forward has been found.

“I welcome the union’s decision to call off the strike action planned for this Saturday, Tuesday 3 September and Thursday 5 September.

“This is good news for passengers and underlines that significant progress is being made towards reaching a final resolution to this long-running dispute.”

However, the RMT said three further 24-hour stoppages set for September 30, and October 2 and 4, are still scheduled to go ahead.