3 December 2014
RMT Press Office
RAIL UNION RMT today announced that it is launching a new phase of the campaign to fight plans that would lead to the axing of buffet cars, on-board staff and maintenance workers on First Great Western and East Coast Inter-City services.
As part of the RMT campaign to defend jobs, services and safety on the new East Coast and First Great Western franchises there will be two important public demonstrations on the morning of the 15th December at Cardiff Central Station, Central Square CF10 1EP and Kings Cross Station, Euston Road N1 9AL. Both will take place at 8.00 am.
RMT has been battling against proposals for driver only operation and the removal of buffet cars and their replacement by a trolley service only catering facility, the sacking and reducing of the safety critical operational role of train guards /conductors as well as station de-staffing and ticket office closures. The union has also objected to proposals that could see the loss of skilled safety critical train maintenance jobs as part of the deal.
The two events on the 15th December in Cardiff and London will mark the start of a new wave of campaigning with thousands of postcards distributed the length and breadth of both the Great Western and East Coast routes urging the public to get involved in the fight for jobs, services and safety and to pile pressure on their MP’s to formally support the RMT campaign by signing up to EDM 584 (below).
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said ;
“RMT is throwing it’s full resources and industrial and political clout behind the fight to stop the attack on jobs, services and safety arising from the introduction of the Inter-City fleet on both the East Coast and the Great Western routes. These new Hitachi trains have been explicitly commissioned by the Government to allow the sacking of on-board staff, the axing of buffet cars and have left a question mark hanging over the future of the existing maintenance depots.
“These plans are also wholly bound up with the Governments ideological move to bulldoze through the re- privatisation of the East Coast rail services while the refranchising of the Great Western route is mired in controversy and back-room deals and First Group has been consigned to the ranks of corporate basket-case. RMT will not stand back while our members jobs and futures are caught in the crossfire of this right-wing madness.
“Our campaign will point out the public that they have a massive stake in this drive to milk the Inter-City routes for every penny the private companies can extract. They would be forced to pay higher fares to travel on crowded and unsafe trains where they will struggle to even get a drink of water on a long haul journey. We will be calling on the passengers to join us in piling pressure on their MP’s to reverse this latest assault on rail services and jobs in the name of private greed.”