26 October 2015
RMT Press Office
Taxpayer to foot £3 million a week bill for trains that can't be used while guards, catering and fleet jobs face the axe.
RAIL UNION RMT demanded urgent action this morning after it emerged at the weekend that the taxpayer is set to be lumped with a bill of nearly £3 million a week to pay Japanese fleet supplier Hitachi for trains that cannot be used on the Great Western routes due to the electrification fiasco.
Hitachi and the Government are known to be exploring a fiercely expensive and problematic option of retro fitting diesel engines to the new fleet as a stop gap but if that proves unworkable the taxpayer will still have to pay Hitachi £400,000 a day - regardless of whether the trains are used or simply left standing idle.
RMT has been engaged in a long running dispute with Great Western over the threat to safety, jobs and passenger services that is part of the current fleet proposals.
General Secretary Mick Cash said;
"Our dispute is over the threat to guards jobs and train safety from the door control and despatch procedures on the new trains and we are also fighting similar threats to catering operations and fleet jobs.
"It is now clear that there is no shortage of money to waste on keeping trains idle so there is no excuse for not investing in jobs, safety and services.
"RMT intends to take this issue directly to the Government now with a demand that they end this shambles and protect both staff and the travelling public from wholly unnecessary cuts."