Wednesday, March 17, 2010

RMT Hold talks with Network Rail

March 17 2010

RMT in talks with Network Rail tomorrow over safety-critical job cuts

RAIL UNION RMT will be taking part in top level talks with Network Rail tomorrow (18th March) in a bid to reach an agreement that protects rail safety, job security and operational arrangements following a massive 77% vote for strike action last week by 12,000 RMT rail maintenance staff over the company’s cuts plans.

RMT have drawn attention again this morning to the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) report from two weeks ago which identified four major areas of concern over the Network Rail plans:

Failure to carry out practical tests on the cuts plans
Specific concerns on the continued problems on the West Coast Mainline where the bulk of the job cuts are targeted
Reductions in safety-critical working hours
Cutting back on safety lookouts and safety briefings.

ORR also highlighted “inadequate employee engagement” and warned that they will have “no hesitation in taking immediate action if safety to passengers and employees is put at risk.”

Over 150 MP’s have now signed the Early Day Motion opposing the planned Network Rail cuts and calling on the government to intervene directly to call a halt to the threatened axing of 1500 safety-critical posts.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“We head in to talks with Network Rail with the very clear intention of seeking an agreement which ends the threat of compulsory redundancies amongst safety-critical maintenance staff and which puts the safety and security of our railways above the drive to slash budgets to hit arbitrary savings targets.

“We have secured a huge pool of public and political support for RMT’s “Rail Cuts Cost Lives” campaign, alongside an overwhelming mandate from our members for action if that’s what it takes to reverse these cuts. That puts us in a strong position as we open up these direct talks with the senior management at Network Rail.


Further information:
Geoff Martin 07831 465 103
0207 255 9146

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