20 October 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT General Secretary to call for Greater Anglia to be stripped of franchise at a meeting in Norwich tonight as rail safety regulator reveals company safety “deficiencies and failings”.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash will call on the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling to strip Dutch state owned Greater Anglia of their franchise at a meeting in Norwich tonight - Friday 20th October - after the rail safety regulator (ORR) wrote the to the union admitting its inspectors have uncovered a range of safety “deficiencies and failings” arising from Greater Anglia’s use of replacement labour in the recent industrial action by RMT.
In a letter to the union (attached) the ORR say their inspectors have reviewed the procedures put in place for the training of contingent guards and identified a
“number of areas with deficiencies which needed to be addressed including, planning procedures, risk assessment, training and safety validation”
The safety regulator goes onto the say that Greater Anglia have
“acknowledged the failings in the above areas and agreed that contingent staff will not be used until the issues have been rectified to the satisfaction of the ORR”
The union has written to the company stating that
“that you have not demonstrated your ability to carry out such basic items of health and safety management must bring into question the suitability of your organisation to run passenger services in the first place.”
In advance of speaking alongside shadow chancellor John McDonnell at a public meeting on the railways in Norwich this evening RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
“Even the rail safety regulator, which is funded by train companies, has been forced to admit that Greater Anglia’s strike breaking operation was riddled with safety deficiencies and failings which meant that passengers and staff who were on Greater Anglia services on strike days on 3rd and 5th October were placed at severely increased risk”
“The regulator has made it's findings after prior warnings from the RMT about the company playing fast and loose with safety and after we submitted detailed formal complaints over serious failures.
"RMT is now calling for the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling to intervene to protect passengers and workers from Greater Anglia’s appalling disregard for safety and strip the company of the franchise. We will also be drawing this disgraceful and dangerous situation to the attention to MPs and of Abellio Greater Anglia’s Dutch state rail owners.”