7 May 2014
RMT Press Office
Trade unionists and campaigners from across Britain will assemble in Doncaster, on Saturday 24 May, for a march and rally against cuts on the railway. The protest is part of an RMT organised national day of action.
The proposed cuts come in the wake of the McNulty Report, adopted as policy by the government, and represent the biggest threat to the rail industry in 50 years.
The Report calls for the break-up of Network Rail, longer franchises, attacking staff conditions and paves the way for an attack on regional railways. Over a third of the total savings are expected to come by cutting staff, including those working on maintenance.
Trains will also be expected to be “Driver Only Operation,” with no other staff on board. Also proposed is a review of station staffing and the scrapping of regulations that protect ticket offices.
The decimation of essential staff flies in the face of research by Passenger Focus and others organisations that show that station and train staff are important to passengers for safety assurances, ticket sales, journey advice and general reassurance.
Rally speakers include: Mick Cash – RMT Acting General Secretary; Peter Pinkney – RMT National President; Sean McGowan – RMT Relief Regional Organiser North; Tosh McDonald – ASLEF Vice President; Ron Douglas – President, National Pensioners Convention; Rob Williams – Chair, National Shop Stewards Network; Alistair Tice – Trade Union And Socialist Coalition and Rosie Kirk – RMT Young Members President.
RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash said:
“Without vital station platform staff, ticket office staff and train guards, disabled and vulnerable passengers will be hardest hit.
“Guards that are trained to lead passengers to safety in the event of any incident or accident and safety critical maintenance staff will be gone forever.”
The march will assemble at Doncaster Civic Centre, Waterdale, Doncaster at 10.00 am.
The rally will take place at Doncaster Trades & Labour Club – Frenchgate Centre from 13:00 to 17:00.