15 December 2014
RMT Press Office
RAIL UNION RMT today blasted rail regulator and budget holder the Office of Rail Regulation for “rank hypocrisy” in advance of an expected assault on Network Rail over performance which the union believes is part of a strategy to destabilise the publicly-owned infra-structure operator as business and politicians push for its privatisation and return to the lethal days of Railtrack.
ORR have been briefing selected journalists in advance of the publication of a formal letter attacking Network Rail performance, however, although there are serious issues facing NR they are compounded by the fact that the ORR itself, working to the Government’s “McNulty” Rail Review agenda, have doled out cuts of nearly £2 billion for the Control Period 5 and have presided over the threat to more than 11,000 jobs over the period from 2009/2019. It is that underhand approach which has fuelled the unions hypocrisy charge – criticising performance on the one hand while driving the cuts with the other.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Rail workers are sick and tired of the highly-political row between the ORR and Network Rail which is undermining morale at a time when there is massive pressure on services and infrastructure.
“While there are serious issues facing Network Rail they are compounded by the fact that ORR are demanding cuts, dressed up as so-called efficiencies, which are draining away jobs and finance and fuelling an agenda of casualisation and sub-contracting.
“RMT is well aware that the ORR are working under instruction from the Government and we believe that there is an agenda in play here designed to destabilise the publicly-owned Network Rail to try and set it up for re-privatisation and a return to the lethal days of Railtrack. Our railways deserve better than these kind of politically-motivated shenanigans.”