RMT demands assurances about ending the dumping of sewageRSS Feed

RMT demands assurances about ending the dumping of sewage

23 October 2017

RMT Press Office:

RMT demands absolute assurances that the filthy and disgusting practice of dumping sewage on Britain's railways will end.

RAIL UNION RMT has today written to the Chief Executive of Network Rail demanding clear assurances that the filthy and disgusting practice of dumping raw sewage on Britain’s railway tracks will end by a clearly defined cut-off point with no exemptions or derogations.

RMT has written the letter after Mark Carne told the press that the practice would be phased out by next year – a pledge that RMT wants turned into a cast iron guarantee with an assurance that punitive action will be taken against those train companies that attempt to flout it. RMT also wants assurances that train companies will not be allowed to duck the issue by simply stripping out their toilets and replacing them with seats as has happened in the past on the south coast.

In the letter to Mark Carne – a full copy of which is set out below – RMT General Secretary Mick Cash says:
“I write concerning recent articles that have appeared in the press with regards to the end of dumping raw human sewage out on to the rail track.
 
You may be aware that my trade union have been raising this very issue for many years, certainly since the commencement of this century, and many times promises are made with reference to new rolling stock, modern technology and facilities back in depots and sidings. I have to ask you, what makes it so different this time around?”
 
“I would ask you to ensure that every operator across all sectors of the industry is operationally bound to provide suitable and sufficient arrangements for the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health by an agreed cut-off date. After that, Network Rail actually take action against those who fail to maintain a zero discharge programme with suitable depot facilities that remove and package the waste to a suitable and safe disposal plant. If it’s good enough for the workers in Scotland from December 2017 it should be the same standard for rail maintenance and track workers in England and Wales?”

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“RMT has fought long and hard to end the filthy and disgusting practice of dumping human waste on Britain’s railways for many years now and we are sick and tired of being fobbed off with warm words and vague targets. We want cast-iron guarantees and we want them now.

“It is outrageous that wealthy, profiteering private train companies have been allowed to get away with this scandalous abuse for so long because they are too greedy and tight-fisted to bring it to an end. The financial responsibility for ending this scandal should fall to the rail rip-off merchants and not the British taxpayer.

“If it’s good enough for rail workers in Scotland to have a guarantee that they will not be sprayed with raw sewage out on the tracks from the end of this year then why not the workforce in England in Wales?

“The government cheerleaders at the self-styled Rail Delivery Group are quick to stick the boot into Britain’s guards when they stand up for public safety. It is time for them to get their house and their industry in order and show some support for the workforce for whom a dousing with faeces from a passing train is a regular occurance.”

ENDS

 
NOTE TO EDITORS:
FULL TEXT OF RMT LETTER BELOW
 

Mark Carne
Chief Executive
Network Rail
1 Eversholt Street,
London,
NW1 2DN
 
Dear Mark,
 
TRAIN TOILETS – END DUMPING RAW SEWAGE ON TO THE TRACKS
 
I write concerning recent articles that have appeared in the press with regards to the end of dumping raw human sewage out on to the rail track.
 
You may be aware that my trade union have been raising this very issue for many years, certainly since the commencement of this century, and many times promises are made with reference to new rolling stock, modern technology and facilities back in depots and sidings. I have to ask you, what makes it so different this time around?
 
I have received cast iron assurances from The Scottish Government that the 38 fleet of trains belonging to ScotRail will all be refurbished to ensure that CET (controlled emission toilets)  is fitted, that those trains whose lease time finishes in 2018 have already been completed and that CET will be installed in all trains by December 2017. This was funded by Transport Scotland, who will be funding the Train Operating and Freight Operating Company’s in England and Wales?
 
What absolute guarantee can you give that ensures TOC’s and FOC’s and those operating Heritage and Leisure Operations won’t be able or allowed to discharge their waste onto the track and beyond?
 
Can you assure me that the answer won’t be ‘by-design’, because as we know ‘by design’ allowed Southern Railways to claim no human raw sewage was going on to the track because ‘by design’ they removed toilets completely from vast numbers of carriages from within their fleet.
 
 
You will know that it is possible to travel from Seaford in East Sussex via Lewes and Brighton to Portsmouth in Hampshire, a train journey of over 65 miles and can take 2 hours to complete, without there being a toilet available for passengers or train crew. That is not the rail or work experience passengers or workers are looking for, but it is one that they have endured for over 5 years.
 
I am afraid that a pledge at this stage is just not good enough.
 
I would ask you to ensure that every operator across all sectors of the industry is operationally bound to provide suitable and sufficient arrangements for the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health by an agreed cut off date. After that, Network Rail actually take action against those who fail to maintain a zero discharge programme with suitable depot facilities that remove and package the waste to a suitable and safe disposal plant. If it’s good enough for the workers in Scotland from December 2017 it should be the same standard for rail maintenance and track workers in England and Wales?
 
Can you provide me with comment and additional detail on the following;
 
•         ScotRail timeline and provision of funding and additional resources.
 
•         Which services do you believe are the problem and when will this practice end on those trains.
 
•         Who is going to be responsible for ensuring that an agreed timeline is in place and met.
 
•         How will you enforce this agreed timeline and schedule.
 
•         What will be the penalties if this agreed time line is not met.
 
•         Will you assure RMT and our members that no derogations or exceptions will be in place.
 
I look forward to your response
 
 
Yours sincerely
 
Mick Cash
General Secretary

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Tagged with: network rail, mark carne, sewage, rmt