RMT warns of sustained national industrial action

RMT warns of sustained national industrial action

14 September 2021

RMT Press Office:

RMT warns of sustained national industrial action across the transport network as bus and train giant FirstGroup awards £500m to shareholders and Government and bosses continue to attack transport jobs, pay and services.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch today warned of sustained industrial action across regional and national transport network as news of a half billion pay out to shareholders of rail and bus giant FirstGroup emerges.

FirstGroup is the parent company of South Western Railway which is currently consulting on slashing 15% of peak and off-peak rail services across its network from December 2022.

Speaking at the Trade Union Congress 2021 today Mick Lynch spelled out that RMT would simply not tolerate transport workers paying for the Covid-19 crisis whilst private shareholders continue to make massive profits.

Mick Lynch said:

“It simply beggars belief that the Government and private transport operators are using the Covid-19 crisis as a cover to launch an unprecedented attack on transport workers’ jobs and pay, and at the same time shareholders of one of the largest rail and bus companies in the UK are receiving a massive pay-out of half a billion.

“This is pandemic profiteering on the backs of transport workers, passengers and taxpayers.

“It is of national shame that in the year that the UK hosts vital climate talks at COP26 that we are battling to save our members’ jobs across public transport and protect services that could be cut forever. That money should be reinvested in our public transport network rather than going into a few rich shareholders pockets.

“RMT will simply not sit idly by whilst our public transport network is carved up and fat-cat shareholders cream off massive profits.

“My message is clear: we will be stepping up our campaigning to save public transport services and jobs and if that means sustained national industrial action on our transport network to stop this carnage we are more than ready for that.”

Notes for Editors
1.            FirstGroup confirm the payment of £500 million to shareholders https://www.cityam.com/first-group-shares-up-as-bus-firm-confirms-500m-payout/
2.            RMT this week launched their “No Cuts on South Western Railways” campaign following proposals by the train operator to cut 15% of peak and off-peak services https://www.rmt.org.uk/news/rmt-launches-campaign-against-swr-cuts/

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Tagged with: First Group, SWR, South Western Railway, Covid-19, Industrial Action