21 November 2016
RMT Press Office:
RMT writes to Scottish Transport Minister calling for urgent talks on plans to bring Scotrail into public ownership.
SCOTLAND’S BIGGEST RAIL UNION today wrote to Transport Minister Humza Yousaf calling for urgent talks on a plan to bring Scotrail into public ownership – drawing a line under the disastrous performance of the Dutch-owned Abellio outfit. (Letter below).
Over the weekend Mr Yousaf made it clear that he was now prepared to pull the plug on Abellio and take the Scotrail operation into the public sector. RMT wants talks on a programme and an operational model for the important development which would see Scottish railways back under public ownership for the first time in a generation.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The Scottish Transport Minister could not have been clearer in his comments over the weekend. He has fired the starting gun on a programme for bringing Scotrail into the public sector and it’s now time for his words to be turned into action. Any failure to now deliver, and any dragging of heels, would rightly provoke a massive public backlash.
“RMT said at the time that Abellio was awarded the Scotrail franchise that it was a gross betrayal of the Scottish people and was doomed to failure. We have been proved right but now is the time for decisive action to repair the damage and look to a future under public ownership and public control.
“RMT is calling for urgent talks to get the process moving and to put together a model for a modern, publicly-owned railway that brings a halt to two decades of fragmentation and profiteering.”
Letter to Transport Minister Humza Yousaf below.
21st November 2016
Humza Yousaf MSP
Minister for the Transport and Islands
St. Andrew's House,
RMT strongly welcomes and supports your proposals to discuss this week with the trade unions and political parties ways in which the Scotrail Franchise can be taken into public ownership.
This is potentially a pivotal moment for our railways in Scotland and it is right that we work together to get a modern railway that puts passengers before profit.
We hope very much this week that we can discuss the following three key points.
Firstly how the Scottish Government can use all the levers that are available to take the railway back into public ownership as soon as possible and not have to wait until 2020. This includes the Scottish Government being prepared to use its powers to provide a operator of last resort as soon as possible.
Secondly how we can bring and end to the damaging fragmentation of our railway and create a more unified integrated railway within Scotland and with the rest of the network.
Thirdly how we can create not only a publicly owned railway but an affordable and properly staffed, safe and accessible railway - a genuine Peoples Railway which has passengers, wider society and the workforce at its core.
We welcome your initiative which we hope will not only lead to a better railway in Scotland but also demonstrate to the rest of UK there is a more modern and progressive way to run our railway.