RMT calls on Scottish Government to walk the talk on public ownership

Published on Thursday, 21 June 2012 10:56
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

On the day that plans for Scottish railways from 2014 are due to be unveiled at Holyrood, rail union RMT has called on SNP politicians to “walk the talk” on public ownership

 

and make it clear that they favour the removal of profit-driven companies like First Group from the tracks and their replacement with a publicly-owned, publicly-accountable cheaper alternative.

At the weekend, Cabinet Secretary Alex Neil wrote to transport secretary Justine Greening to call for increased powers. He said it was 'perverse, and verging on the ridiculous' that state-owned companies from other countries can operate rail services in Scotland while home-based public bodies cannot.

Now, despite that rhetoric, insiders are speculating that today’s announcement of future plans will in fact follow the UK Government’s McNulty cuts and profiteering agenda making services more attractive to the private sector and potentially including a threat to the sleeper services.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“At the weekend Scottish Ministers were saying it is “perverse” that they are being forced by EU law to face the prospect of handing over services to profit-grabbing giants like Deutsche Bahn – it would be even more perverse in today’s announcement if they meekly accept their fate and follow the McNulty path of cuts and more profiteering.

“RMT will be monitoring today’s announcement closely, we are specifically expecting the report to agree our proposal that the “indemnity” that means the taxpayer gives private companies a free ride when they provoke strike action be removed.

“The future of sleeper services remains to be decided but we can give the guarantee that wherever there are threats to jobs, services and affordable fares RMT will be in the front-line of the fight back.”

Source: © RMT 2012

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