16 March 2020
RMT Press Office
Britain's biggest rail union responds to Grant Shapps’ statement this morning on coronavirus
Responding to the statement this morning by Grant Shapps that rail passenger numbers were down by 20% last week and the train companies are in line for a coronavirus bailout RMT general secretary Mick Cash said,
“As it considers bailing out the private rail companies the Government must now issues cast iron guarantee that as well as protecting transport services all transport jobs and skills, including those in the supply chain must be protected.
“To achieve this government must extend public ownership to the transport sector such as expanding the government operator of last resort already in use on northern and LNER
“In the good times the privatised operators have squandered billions in dividends instead of reinvesting in staff and services and preparing for any shocks to the transport system, but now we have a national emergency and all commercial considerations must be put aside so transport is managed solely in the national interest.”