RMT launched a new ballot for industrial action on Merseyrail on 21 January. The vote runs until 11 February.
The union gave bosses a November deadline to open talks on a new pay settlement. With the employer having failed to meet that deadline, the union quite rightly declared a dispute and has now launched a ballot.
Like rail and transport workers all over the country, Merseyrail workers have kept an essential service running throughout a dangerous pandemic. For their bosses to refuse to even enter into negotiations over pay is an insult. Merseyrail bosses need to come to the table, but the dispute shouldn't limit its horizons to demanding negotiations. The fight must be for concrete improvements on pay and conditions, not just for talks.
An RMT statement said: "The company may plead poverty as they have not received [emergency] funding from the Government but they have continued to be fully funded by their owners Serco and Abellio. Merseyrail has been a consistently profitable business over the years and that success is down to your hard work. Now is not the time so see you receive real terms cuts in your pay by failing to keep your wages in line with the increase in cost of living."