RMT seeks urgent meeting over Avanti crisis

RMT seeks urgent meeting over Avanti crisis

8 August 2022

RMT Press Office:

RMT seeks urgent meeting with Transport Secretary over Avanti crisis.

Avanti West Coast have drastically reduced their timetable including temporarily suspending ticket sales and only running four trains an hour from London Euston, one to each of Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.

The company has also made unsubstantiated allegations of unofficial strike action by staff, something that RMT and other unions strongly deny.

In a letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said:

"Avanti are falsely and shamefully making allegations that this decision is due to unofficial industrial action when the reality is this decision arises from poor management, cutting staffing to the bare minimum and rock bottom staff morale.

"I am presuming that you sanctioned this decision, and I would therefore be grateful for an urgent meeting to discuss the crisis, including clarification of the following points:

"Confirmation that your permission was required for Avanti to implement a reduced timetable.

"Is Avanti in breach of their contract with the Department of Transport and what sanctions will you be taking against Avanti?

"Has public ownership of the contract been considered?

"Does the DfT have an Operator of Last Resort it can mobilize should Avanti no longer be able to operate the franchise? How long would the OLR take to mobilize?

"What steps will you be taking to resolve the situation and whether your announcement that you will ban rail staff from working overtime in the future will make a bad situation even worse?

"The government cannot continue to take the side of corporations against passengers and workers, and I look forward to your agreement to an urgent meeting to discuss this crisis."

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Tagged with: Avanti West Coast, Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, rail union, RMT