TUC backs RMT as it pledges to continue campaign to keep guards on trains

The biggest rail workers union has pledged to continue campaigning to keep guards on trains as it received support from the trade union movement.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union is embroiled in bitter disputes over the role of guards and driver-only trains at Southern Railway, Merseyrail and Arriva Rail North, which have led to a series of strikes.

The dispute is set to spread to other train operators.

The union won backing from the TUC Congress in Brighton, which criticised Government transport ministers for backing the train operators.

The RMT said that 15,000 people had signed a petition calling for guards to be retained on Merseyrail. Sean Hoyle of the RMT told the conference: "We will not give up this fight."

He referred to a speech by Transport Department official Peter Wilkinson saying the Government had a three-year plan to "crush" the rail unions, adding: "He needs to re-evaluate the plan because we are not going anywhere."

RMT general secretary Mick Cash
RMT general secretary Mick Cash (Nick Ansell/PA)

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT welcomes the unanimous support of the entire trade union movement for our campaigns to keep the guards on our trains, which now stretch right across the country.

"The Government and their private rail contractors need to understand? that we have national support from millions of workers for the fight to put rail safety before private profit.

"This unanimous vote is a massive shot in the arm for RMT's national campaign to defend the guards on our trains."

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