1 April 2016
RMT Press Office:
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn pledges full support for rail unions campaign over Northern Rail jobs, services and safety.
On the day that Deustche Bahn take over the Northern Rail franchise, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has sent a message pledging full support for the rail unions campaign to defend jobs, services and safety and for a publicly owned railway.
Today - Friday 1st April 2016 – is the first day of the Arriva (Deutsche Bahn) Northern Rail franchise with RMT and sister unions drawing attention to the real impact of the rail privatisation fiasco and the nonsense of German state operator DB taking over Northern Rail services at the expense of investment in UK railways. RMT is also be ramping up the campaign over the threat of Driver Only Operation, and the sacking of the guards, to rail safety, jobs and front line passenger services.
In the message from Jeremy Corbyn, read out at rally in Manchester last night, he says:
I am sorry that I cannot be with you tonight in Manchester but please on behalf of the Labour Party accept my full support in your fight to protect rail jobs and services.
We fully support your campaign to oppose driver only operation on Northern and cuts to station staff and rail ticket offices.
That’s because Labour want what passengers and rail workers want.
Proper staffing to protect the safety of stations and trains. Proper staffing to provide assistance and assurance to passengers.
And a properly funded railway with fair fares.
That’s why Labour is also committed to a publicly owned railway.
So that every penny invested in our railway goes to maintaining and improving our railway.
Let’s work together for a better railway.
Leader of the Labour Party”
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“RMT is delighted that Jeremy Corbyn has weighed in with a pledge of full support for the RMT and our sister unions fight over rail jobs, services and safety and for public ownership of the entire network. It is a huge boost to our campaign.
“It may be April Fool’s Day but it is no joke for railways across the North to have their services set up for plundering by Deutsche Bahn at the expense of investment here in the UK. It makes a total mockery of George Osborne’s “Northern Powerhouse” nonsense.
“This rotten Tory government, opposed to British public ownership of our railways, have now awarded the Northern franchise to the German state railway company giving them the opportunity to bleed away millions in profits to subsidise their domestic operations.
“On top of that safe operation is threatened as DB swing the axe over the heads of our safety-critical members and RMT will be stepping up the fight to defend those jobs, defend quality services and demand public ownership and a People’s Railway for the North. The support of Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, on behalf of the whole Labour Party, is an important development as we take that fight forwards.”