17 November 2014
RMT Press Office
RAIL UNION RMT will step up the pressure on Transport Scotland and Network Rail to bring forward the target date for the ending of the filthy and disgusting practice of dumping raw sewage onto Scotland’s railway tracks with a protest at Transport Scotland tomorrow, Tuesday 18th November, three days before the union has been promised answers to its demands for a new timetable
At a meeting with both Transport Scotland and Network Rail last week, RMT officials issued a call for both organisations to put pressure on Scotrail’s new operators, Abellio, to bring forward the proposed date for the fitting of retention tanks across the fleet from December 2017 to April 2016 to eradicate this scandal.
The franchise documentation talked of 2020 as the target date for ending the dumping of effluent. Since then, following a campaign of political and public pressure organised by RMT, the Transport Minister has moved that date to December 2017 but RMT believes that April 2016 is an achievable target and would represent significant further progress.
On Tuesday 18th November at 8am at the Transport Scotland offices, Buchanan House, 58 Port Dundas Road , Glasgow, RMT members will be handing out leaflets demanding the earliest possible end to the disgusting and dangerous practice.
RMT has been given an assurance that Transport Scotland will formally reply to the union’s calls no later than 21st November and the protest on Tuesday is all about keeping the pressure on. RMT has made it clear that the union does not rule out an industrial response to bring a halt to the discharge of human waste onto the tracks if there is any dragging of heels.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said ;
“RMT has already made significant progress in bringing forward the date when the scandal of dumping raw sewage on Scotland’s railway tracks is brought to an end. However, the union believes that April 2016 is a perfectly realistic and achievable target for halting this filthy and disgusting practice. Abellio are set to make a fortune out of the Scotrail franchise and the very least they should be forced to do is to dip in their pockets and retro-fit the retention tanks.
“This union intends to keep the pressure on Transport Scotland for the earliest possible end to this scandal on Scotland’s railways and that is why we are taking our case right to their doorstep on Tuesday. RMT has said all along that if it was wealthy bankers getting sprayed with sewage rather than rail workers then this scandal would be ended overnight. RMT’s campaign goes on.”