Train strikes: Liverpool MPs sign solidarity letter backing RMT rail walk outs

A number of Liverpool MPs and key city figures are backing the rail strikes which will hit train services for three days this week.

Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over low pay - and will strike in the biggest walk outs the country has seen in decades.

A group called ‘We back the RMT strikes!’ wrote a letter in support of the planned strike action, and a number of prominent Liverpool Labour MPs have added their signatures along with a host of unions.

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The letter states that the group “wholeheartedly support the RMT union in their fight for a decent pay settlement”.

It also mentions the partygate reports, stating that “Boris Johnson and his friends at ‘No 10’ partied and toasted one another’s wealth” whilst “RMT members worked through the pandemic”.

While Merseyrail staff are not directly involved in the dispute, the signal operators on the lines are employed by Network Rail and will be taking part in the strike.

As a result there will be no service on Merseyrail on Tuesday, June 21; Thursday, June 23; and Saturday, June 25.

Which Liverpool MPs backed the RMT strikes?

Kim Johnson, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, was among those who supported the strike action by signing the unions backed letter.

Kim Johnson, Labour MP. Credit: David Woolfall

She also shared her solidarity with RMT on twitter, as she shared a press release from the union with the caption “The truth.”

On Friday, June 17, the Conservative party passed a motion which condemned rail workers for taking part in the strike action.

Labour MP for Birkenhead, Mick Whitley, who also signed the letter, shared on twitter that he had voted against the motion and urged the Government ‘to get around the table to resolve this dispute’.

Paula Barker, Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree, shared her anger at the Government accusing the Tories of ‘gross negligence’ in the way they were dealing with the RMT union.

Ian Byrne, Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, and Dan Carden, Labour MP for Liverpool Walton also added their signatures to the letter backing RMT strike action.

A further 152 people have signed the letter, including Anna Rothery, Leader of Liverpool Community Independents Group.

The letter backing RMT strikes in full

Solidarity with the RMT strikes! Fair treatment for rail workers!

We the undersigned wholeheartedly support the RMT union in their fight for a decent pay settlement, and to oppose any and all redundancies on the railways.

Whilst Boris Johnson and his friends at ‘No 10’ partied and toasted one another’s wealth, RMT members worked through the pandemic maintaining basic services and rail-safety. They are being repaid with a pay freeze and attacks on employment conditions. 2,500 jobs are also at risk across the regional networks.

The RMT’s fight for a fair deal is entirely justified. However, neither the government nor the rail companies are listening to reason. The union is saying ‘enough is enough’ and nearly 90% of RMT members participating in the ballot have said ‘Yes’ to strikes.

Instead of entering into meaningful talks with the RMT, the Tories are resorting to smear tactics against the union in the media. They are also attempting to restrict the RMT’s right to strike by imposing ‘minimum service requirements’ during the action. We see this as an attack on all unions that must be resisted. This behaviour from the Tories only shows their arrogance, and their weakness in the face of the RMT’s determination.

This week, along with RMT members on thirteen regional networks, rail workers on Merseyside are taking part in nationally coordinated strike action on 21, 23 and 25 June. On the first of these dates RMT members working for Transport for London are also taking action on the London underground, making a total of 50,000 rail workers on strike that day. Further strikes will happen across another three rail operators in June and July. RMT members working for ScotRail are balloting for action over pay. Services on Network Rail Wales will also be impacted.

The government has underestimated the RMT. The industrial action will affect passenger and freight services. Glastonbury, the Headingley Third Test and major music events will be affected.

We are appalled at the treatment of RMT members by Johnson’s Tory government. We stand by the RMT in its current campaign, and we wish it every success in its fight for fair treatment for rail workers.

Signatories

Ian Byrne, Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby

Dan Carden, Labour MP for Liverpool Walton

Kim Johnson, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside

Mick Whitley, Labour MP for Birkenhead

Paula Barker, Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree

Chris Knibb, Regional Council President of North West and North Wales RMT

Daren Ireland, NW RMT Regional Organiser

John Tilley, NW RMT Regional Organiser

Martin Cavanagh, National Deputy President of PCS Union, Group President of PCS Union DWP

Jane Loftus, National Vice President of CWU

Peter Middleman, Chair of North West Trades Union Congress

Elaine Jones, Branch Chair of Cheshire and Wirral Unison Health branch

Tony Gaskell, Branch Secretary of Unite NW/65

Lois Founds, Unison Service Group Executive (personal capacity), Wirral Unison

Ross Quinn, Regional Officer for NW Unite

Anna Rothery, Leader of Liverpool Community Independents Group

Tracey Hylton, National Executive PCS Union, (personal capacity), Riverside Left

Chantelle Lunt, Merseyside Black Lives Matter Alliance

Alice Bennett, Chair of Liverpool Momentum, workplace representative for Unison, Labour Party

Steve Farley, National Officer for PCS Union

Charlie Whelan, Branch Secretary for Central and North Mersey RMT

Sarah Morton, Independent Councillor for Clubmoor, Group Assistant Secretary of PCS Union DWP

Ian Harris, District Secretary of Wirral NEU

Ian Dunne, Branch Chair of Unite NW/65

Saira Weiner, UCU National Executive, Regional Chair of NW UCU, Branch Secretary of Liverpool John Moores University UCU

Debs Gwynn, NEU National Executive for Merseyside and Lancashire

Nina Doran, UCU National Executive, Committee Secretary of City of Liverpool College UCU

Bee Hughes, UCU National Executive, Chair of Liverpool John Moores UCU

Ritchie James, Regional Secretary of NW Unite

David Jones, Branch Secretary of Wirral Unison (personal capacity)

Frank McEntaggart, Chair of Wirral Defend our NHS, Writer’s Guild of Great Britain

Felicity Dowling, Left Unity, Cheshire and Merseyside Coordinated Health Campaigns

Martin Ralph, Vice President of Liverpool Trades Union Council, Committee of University of Liverpool UCU

Angela Teeling, Branch Officer for Greater Mersey CWU, Labour Councillor for Appleton, Halton

Phil Simpson, Chester delegate, RMT

Julie Lyon-Taylor, Chair of Merseyside Pensioners’ Association

James Robinson, Branch Secretary of Knowsley Unison

Melanie Guilfoyle, President Wirral Trades Union Council, Unite

Maz Gaskell, PCS Union representative for DBS Branch

Kneale Faragher, Treasurer of Liverpool Momentum, Labour Party, Socialist Health Association, PCS Union

David Brennan, Vice Chair of Wirral West Constituency Labour Party

Ian Seddon, Secretary of Wirral Trades Union Council, Unite

Brian Parsons, Political Officer for NWC Amal, CWU

Jan Maher, Assistant Secretary of Wirral NEU

Phil Moroney, LME Delegate Wallasey Constituency Labour Party

Tony Norbury, Branch Secretary of Wirral Cooperative Party

Michael Lavalette, Professor of Social Work, Liverpool Hope University, National

Coordinator of the Social Work Action Network, UCU

Paul Cook, Environmental Officer for Merseytravel Unison

Alan Gibbons, Liverpool Community Independents Councillor for Warbreck, Unite

Peta Bulmer, President of University of Liverpool UCU

Mal Ferguson, Joint Branch Secretary of Unison Merseytravel Branch

Neil Smith, Political Officer for GMB

Karl Greaney, Independent Councillor, Wirral

Jo Bird, Green Party Councillor for Bromborough

Paul Martin, Labour Councillor for New Brighton ward, Unite

Ian Humphreys, Branch Secretary of University of Liverpool Unite

Liam Hartzenberg, Unite, Acorn Union

Jason Walsh, Green Party Councillor

Gerard Smyth, Unite

Jeff Davies, Wirral Trades Union Council

John Murphy, Chief Critical Care Technician, Royal Liverpool University Hospital

Jo McNeill, Vice President of University of Liverpool UCU

Audrey White, Secretary of Merseyside Pensioners’ Association, Unite

Prue Stothard, Retired Nurse

Valerie Elson, Bootle Labour Party, Merseyside Pensioner’s Association

Mark O’Brien, Committee University of Liverpool UCU, Merseyside Socialist Workers Party

William Hardman, University of Liverpool UCU

Chris Harvey, Branch Chair of City of Liverpool College UCU

Cherie Judge, University of Liverpool UCU

Rosalba Biasini, Committee of University of Liverpool UCU

Kal Ross, BFAWU, ACORN

Tim Allen, University of Liverpool UCU

Andy Morse, University of Liverpool UCU

Chris Davies, Labour Councillor for Rock Ferry Ward, GMB steward

Chris Leatham-Frost, Branch Secretary Labour Party, Unite steward

Dave Owens, Secretary of Merseyside PCS Union Associated and Retired Members

William Phillips, Pharmacy Defence Association, Youth Officer for Birkenhead Labour Party, Social Media Officer for Merseyside Socialist Alternative

Carol Cody, Liaison Treasurer of City of Liverpool College UCU

Gwyn Farleigh, Unite

David Calland, Wirral Unison.

Samuel Mercer, Chair of Liverpool Hope UCU

Kate Williams, Unison Steward

Mary Whitby, Unite Community, Cheshire and Merseyside Collective Health Campaign

Paul McGowan, National Chair of LGBT+ Socialists, Socialist Alternative

Martin Timson, workplace representative for Unison

Norman Meddle, Wirral Unison Steward (retired), Merseyside Socialist Workers Party

Chris Jones, Labour Party Branch Treasurer, UCU

Graham Sale, Unite shop steward

Rhona O’Brien, Unite, Merseyside Pensioners’ Association, Friends of the Earth

Clara Paillard, Unite, Extinction Rebellion Trade Unionists

Colin James-Smith, Regional Officer for ASLEF (retired)

Dave Walsh, President Liverpool of Liverpool Trades Union Council, Liverpool City Council Unite Convener

Linda Wall, Secretary of Wallasey Constituency Labour Party, GMB

Shelagh Hewitt, RMT (retired)

Les Connor, Socialist party

Neill Dunne, Campaigns Officer for Unite 0538, Socialist Party, Trade Union and Socialist Coalition

Emma Whitby, PCS Union

Tayo Aluko, Writer, actor, singer, Tayo Aluko and Friends

Dr Kit Oi Chung, Liverpool GP

Dr Tim Watson

Barbara Harrison, Birkenhead Labour Party, Momentum, Socialist Labour Network

Neil Hutchings, Vice Chair of Riverside Constituency Labour Party, Vice Chair of Mossley Hill Labour Party, Unite

Laura Knotts, Industrial Officer for PCS Union

Steve Adderley, District Officer for NEU

Louise Reecejones, Women’s Officer for Birkenhead Constituency Labour Party, Secretary of Bidston and St James Labour Party, Chair of Wirral Cooperative Party, Unite NW Disability Committee, Trustee TLC Network charity

Susan Mahoney, Disability Officer for Birkenhead Labour Party, Treasurer of Bidston and St James Labour Party, Wirral Cooperative Party, Trustee TLC Network Charity, Unite

Steve Anderson, Merseyside Socialist Workers Party

Steve Murphy, Unite shop steward

Susha Parameswaran, University of Liverpool UCU

Dr Alan Southern, University of Liverpool UCU

Gillian Homeri, Unite, UCU

Andy McCulloch, Unite

Jess Achilleos, UCU

Andy Lavin, RMT

Julia Nelki, Doctor

Katy Gardner, Doctors in Unite

Anthony Piccaro, Unison

Sara Bennett, Unison

Neil Topping, Unite

Sarah Henney, Unite

Maureen Delahunty, Labour Councillor for County Ward

Irene McNally, workplace representative for Unite

Dr Rich Moth, Liverpool Hope UCU

Sheila Pevely, GMB, PCS Union

Dave Bridge, City of Liverpool Unison (retired), Merseyside Socialist Workers Party

Dave Morris, Merseyside Pensioners; Association

Gerry Corcoran, Unite

Shelagh Cullity, PCS Union

Andrew Bennett, Unite

Lesley Clayton, Unison

Mark Clayton, Unite

Angela Marincowitz, Unite

Barbara Gleave, NEU

Paul Davies, Unite

Janet Cashman, Unite

S F Mohshin, NEU

Helen Collins. Unison, ACORN

Terry Clarke, Merseyside Pensioners’ Association

Lynn Wilde, University of Liverpool UCU, Green Party

Liz Watson, NEU (retired)

Mark Hodge, Unite

Peter Cashman, Unite

Paul Ronayne, NEU

Karen Fletcher, Unite

Malka Billing, NEU

Karen Evans, NEU

Graham Fattorini, Labour Party, Unite

Jeremy Hawthorn, Unite

Regina Fattorini, Unite

Sarah Spoor

Kieran Murphy

Julie Brownbill

Phil Kennedy

Ruth Molyneux 

Nathan Williams

Paul Brownbill

Owen Caffery