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Saturday 10th
posted by Peter Lazenby in Britain

RAIL bosses in Merseyside yesterday banned workers from wearing badges which support a union campaign defending jobs and safety.

Liverpool-based privateer Merseyrail is among dozens of operators planning to cash in on new government franchise regulations by sacking train guards.

The move will cost 207 guards’ jobs at Merseyrail and have serious implications for passenger safety.

Transport union RMT is campaigning nationwide against the government’s plans and privateer rail operators planning to sack guards.

The campaign includes leafleting tens of thousands of passengers, particularly in the north, where privateers Northern Rail and TransPennine Express also plan to sack guards.

Union badges bearing the slogan “Keep the Guard on the Train — Keep the Train Safe” are regularly worn by guards and other staff supporting the fight to defend the jobs.

Merseyrail is one of several companies trying to ban staff from the wearing the badges.

RMT condemned the move as an “authoritarian diktat.”

General secretary Mick Cash said the ban was “a shocking attack on the basic principles of freedom of expression and smacks of politically motivated censorship to try and shut down any objections to company policy.

“This move will not detract from RMT’s campaign to save the guards’ jobs one jot and in fact it will fuel staff anger as they see the lengths that the train companies are prepared go to gag our members.”

Merseyrail failed to respond to a Morning Star request for comment.