Merseyrail refused injunction to stop RMT train strike

Image of the new train Image copyright Merseytravel
Image caption Merseyrail has altered services for the planned walkout

Merseyrail has been denied an injunction to prevent Monday's strike action by members of the RMT union.

The union, which represents transport workers, is fighting plans to bring in more driver-only-operated (DOO) trains, which it says could comprise safety.

Merseyrail claimed the RMT's dispute is with Merseytravel as the decision to use DOO trains was taken by local councillors rather than the rail firm.

But their case was rejected by judges sitting at the High Court in London.

Confirming the strike action will go ahead, RMT general secretary Mick Cash said he was pleased with "an important victory for the union".

He said it was "frankly ludicrous that Merseyrail have been wasting important time and money on bogus legal challenges".

"They should have been sat round the table with the union negotiating a safe and sustainable settlement to this dispute which gives the travelling public the guarantee of a guard on their trains," he said.

Image caption RMT members on Merseyrail voted by 4-1 for strike action

The union is planning a 24-hour walkout over a new fleet of trains due to come into service in 2020.

Merseyrail said it had "argued to the High Court that decisions about... the DOO [trains] were taken by councillors in December and that Merseyrail had no choice but to implement these plans".

The spokesman added: "As such, the RMT's dispute is with Merseytravel and not Merseyrail.

"We are doing all we can to provide a service on Monday which will be as comprehensive as possible, under the circumstances."

Meanwhile, Merseytravel which lets out the concession for the Merseyrail network, said such legal challenges ahead of industrial action were "not unusual".

It added the injunction was "a matter for Merseyrail as employer of those staff represented by the RMT".

RMT members on Northern and Southern are also due to strike on Monday in similar disputes.

Merseyrail said it was altering services and running a reduced service during the planned industrial action, as are Northern and Southern rail operators.

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