Latest Rail News

12.06.17

RMT calls for urgent talks after Grayling retains job at DfT

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has held on to his position in the cabinet as Theresa May reshuffled her cabinet following the Tory’s disappointing election result last week.

Though the Conservatives remain the biggest party in the Commons, Labour made a number of key gains to stop May achieving a crucial majority, leading her to form a working alliance with the DUP to get the seats required to form a government.

In his constituency of Epsom & Ewell, Grayling won his seat by a margin of 20,475, picking up 35,313 votes – a total of 59.6% of the total ballots cast.

The announcement of Grayling’s return to the cabinet has been met with a call to hold an urgent meeting with union the RMT about cuts, safety and service, and in particular the move to driver-only operated trains.

“Despite their protests in the past everyone knows that government ministers have been calling the shots on the axing of the guards on rail franchises like Southern, Northern and Merseyrail,” said outspoken general secretary of RMT Mick Cash.

“With no parliamentary majority to hide behind Chris Grayling should be called to account for his actions and RMT wants urgent talks with a reversal of the guard’s threat, along with the safety-critical cuts at TfL and Network Rail, right at the top of the agenda.”

Cash added that the RMT were “sick and tired” of ministers ignoring their transport staff and “treating the unions like dirt”.

“They have connived to prop up greedy, failing rail companies, doling out austerity cuts that threaten public safety while protecting private profit,” he argued. “Chris Grayling has not lifted a finger to help resolve the guards' disputes to date.  The idea that this nonsense can continue after last Thursday is ludicrous.”

Top Image: David Mirzoeff PA Wire

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Comments

Neil Palmer   12/06/2017 at 17:59

Hey Mick, the travelling public are sick and tired of you and your overpaid luddites. I'm surprised you aren't lobbying to bring back an RMT member to walk in front of every train with a flag.

Jimbo   12/06/2017 at 18:34

The RMT dispute is with the TOC's. The TOC's implement policy set out in the their franchising agreement. The policies are set by the Department for Transport, and the DfT is run by Chris Grayling, who is a member of the current government, which has just been re-elected. Sorry Mr Shouty, the election has no bearing on your petty-minded dispute. As much as you would like to run the country, your party lost and so the policy continues as before.

Gedrow   12/06/2017 at 21:24

Absolutely correct Jimbo. Cash and his acolytes are Luddites to the core. Of course, the long-standing fight between RMT and ASLEF for members is at the heart of this RMT dispute. A 'macho man', chest-beating by the RMT to show how much better they are at protecting their member's interests. Really?

John The Printer   13/06/2017 at 13:37

It is noticeable that Labour didn't make much headway in the recent Election despite the efforts of local TV news. Perhaps the RMT should back down now. Southern run a nearly full service as it is. With the recruitment of extra drivers Rest Day working will become a thing of the past, something that ASLEF seem to realise.

Jimbo   13/06/2017 at 15:53

If I was Chris Grayling, I would invite Mick Cash in for a meeting, have a press briefing just beforehand to go through the fact that accident stats are not showing any impact of DCO despite the RMT's scare stories and set out what I hoped to gain from the meeting. Straight after the meeting, I would have another press briefing to explain that despite the facts contradicting the RMT's view, they were still immovable in their position. Mick Cash has been using the the press to his advantage, whereas the government, TOC's and Chris Grayling aren't as good in this area. They need to learn how to use the press correctly and take the RMT's main tool away from them.

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