The RMT action on Northern and Merseyrail against Driver Only Operation on 13th March was very successful.
At Merseyrail, ALL Traincrew stayed out, including ALL Drivers, despite the majority of them belonging to ASLEF, which has not yet joined the dispute. The ONLY trains that moved at Merseyrail on the day were operated by managers.
That is a huge step forward in this dispute in terms of solidarity- let's hope this spreads to other depots as the dispute rolls on!
At Northern, the RMT strikes were incredibly solid. At Sheffield, for example, NONE of the 92 Guards came into work. Elsewhere, numbers crossing the lines were very low, with only 7 scabs at Leeds for example out of hundreds.
Only small numbers of ASLEF Drivers stayed away from work at Northern. This reflects the fact that there is no recent history of this on the franchise - neither union has taken any major action for years, and there is no historic culture of doing this - RMT members do not generally expect ASLEF members not to cross their picket lines, and most people do not fully understand the law around this.
What is clear, though, is that the majority of Drivers would rather their own union had called them out. Hopefully they can gain confidence from the few that did stay out, plus the amazing show of collective strength at Merseyrail.
Even better - the ASLEF leadership could do the right thing and get the union into the dispute!
In the meantime, RMT members can be proud of their incredibly solid action. Solidarity can win!