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TSSA accepts 7.1 per cent pay increase at Merseyrail

PICKETS are active nationwide today as rail workers stage their second day of strike action to defend wages, jobs and Britain’s rail industry after talks with bosses failed.

In Merseyside clerical, technical and managerial rail staff claimed victory today after accepting a pay increase of more than seven per cent.

The increase at Merseyrail was won by rail clerical, technical and managerial union TSSA.

More than 40,000 workers are involved in today’s strike by RMT and will walk out again on Saturday.

In Leeds, striking rail workers were joined on the picket line by Yorkshire bus workers in their third week of indefinite strike action over pay.

The 650 bus workers are members of Unite employed by Arriva in West Yorkshire. They walked out on June 6.

Negotiations with Arriva are continuing.

In Sheffield, South Yorkshire, former miners’ leader Arthur Scargill joined picketing rail workers this morning.

Mr Scargill, who is 84 and was President of the National Union of Mineworkers during the epic strike against pit closures in 1984-5, has urged trade unionists across Britain to support the rail workers.

Writing in today’s Morning Star, he condemns government plans to introduce yet more laws to limit strike action.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes welcomed the Merseyside settlement.

“What this clearly shows is our union, and sister unions, are in no way a block on finding the solutions needed to avoid a summer of discontent on the railways,” he said.

“Rather, it is the government who are intent on digging in their heels.”

On the breakdown of talks, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Until the government unshackles Network Rail and train-operating companies, it is not going to be possible for a negotiated settlement to be agreed.”

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