25 February 2021
RMT Press Office:
Government’s Williams Review all about saving rail privatisation and declaring war on rail workers warns RMT
The government’s long delayed rail review, set to be highlighted by Keith Williams today, is all about saving rail privatisation rather than saving the railways RMT has warned.
Media reports have indicated that Williams has submitted proposals to the Treasury which will “incentivise” private rail operators to stay in the industry, even after the Covid-19 pandemic has reaffirmed once and for all that the privatised rail operators are entirely dependent on taxpayer support for their survival.
RMT is warning that the primary way the Train Operating Companies will be able to continue to make a profit is if these are directly paid for by the taxpayer and through attacks on the jobs, pay and pensions of rail workers.
RMT general Secretary Mick Cash said,
“Today we expect to see more details of the government’s rail review and with it more of the failed ideology of rail privatisation.
“Instead of saving our railways it looks like Keith Williams is more interested in saving rail privatisation and the fat cat rail profiteering that has continued even during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We fear this will be largely achieved by continuing to use taxpayers’ money to directly subsidise the profits of the rail fat cats whilst also declaring war on the livelihoods of rail workers who have risked and in some cases tragically lost their lives keeping the country moving during the pandemic.
“We will not stand by and see our railways and our essential workers exploited in this way and will use every industrial and political means at our disposal to oppose reactionary rail reforms cooked up between the government and vested corporate interests.”