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Merseyrail Covid redundancies - TSSA union says proposals are "premature"

28 September 2020

Transport union TSSA has today described as "premature" the announcement by Merseyrail of redundancies and is demanding the company pauses until talks between the Metro Mayor and government regarding funding come to an end. Redundancy consultation meetings are due to start this week.

Merseyrail announced more than 20 compulsory redundancies in management, administrative and controller roles on the same day a major government funding package was agreed for Train Operating Companies (TOCs). Its owners Abellio and Serco have blamed the move on fewer passengers and losses in revenue as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. TSSA is backing efforts by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram to secure support for Merseyrail – which isn’t covered by the government package for TOCs – to avoid these redundancies.

TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: “Today I have been in contact with Steve Rotherham the Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region. He has confirmed to me that he is still in talks with the government for financial support for public transport in Merseyside. Frankly, its disingenuous for Merseyrail to claim otherwise and they must halt any attempt to make our members redundant until we know how much support will be made available by the government.”

TSSA Organising Director Steve Coe added: "We fully support the Liverpool City Region's Mayor Steve Rotheram in seeking to secure government support to which would avoid these job losses. At a time when those discussions are still on-going, it seems to us to be premature for the private contractors Abellio and Serco (who run Merseyrail) to take precipitate action and threaten the livelihoods of rail staff.

"The government has provided financial support to the other train operators in England, and it seems only right that Merseyside's railway operator receives the same support as everyone else. I have written to Merseyrail asking them to pause the redundancies until we know whether or not the government will provide the money needed for the company."

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