As the most important rail strike in 4 many years started, the overall secretary of the RMT union attacked what he says are the federal government’s plans for the railway.
Mick Lynch claims ministers plan to close each and every price ticket workplace in Britain and take away guards from trains.
The rail union boss stated: “We can not return to having guard-less trains, as [former transport secretary] Grant Shapps known as it.
“We can not settle for the closure of the entire price ticket places of work in Britain. That’s what’s at the desk. No price ticket workplace will exist at the nationwide railway community if Grant Shapps’ plan is going ahead.”
The Division for Shipping has insisted, “No ultimate determination has been taken on price ticket places of work.”
Mr Lynch was once talking on a wood line at London Euston station, which is closed on account of commercial motion by means of 4 unions.
Teach drivers belonging to the Aslef union, and participants of the TSSA and Unite, have coordinated stoppages that the RMT stated would “convey the railway to an efficient standstill”.
Actually, round one educate in 9 is operating – basically on intercity hyperlinks between London and towns corresponding to Leeds, Sheffield, Bristol and Southampton.
The overall secretary stated: “Corporations will attempt to run a skeleton provider however it gained’t be the rest that the general public can depend on, so far as we will be able to see.”
Union bosses have met the brand new shipping secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, in what Mr Lynch known as “a just right assembly, certain”.
Ms Trevelyan informed the Evening Standard: “Optimistically, my view of the arena and the facility to convey everybody in combination is one thing that can get everybody to agree that we will be able to discover a touchdown zone that we will be able to all are living with.”
A spokesperson for the Rail Supply Team, representing educate operators, stated: “No ultimate determination has been taken on price ticket places of work.
“We’re taking a look at how we will be able to transfer team of workers from at the back of glass home windows in price ticket places of work to supply face-to-face help in other places at the station the place they’re nearer to shoppers and higher positioned to lend a hand them.
“These days, simply 13 according to cent of tickets are these days purchased the use of a price ticket workplace – that quantity is continuous to say no. When the trade was once privatised, 82 according to cent of tickets had been purchased at a price ticket workplace – these days generation has moved on considerably and not more than one in 8 tickets are actually purchased at a price ticket workplace.
“Workforce will at all times supply face-to-face services and products at the railways, which can also be an important for individuals who want further enhance and can not, or don’t wish to use contactless or cell tickets. The truth is that price ticket places of work have observed a vital decline in passenger use during the last decade.
“The adjustments would a great deal support our talent to make team of workers to be had on the proper position and proper time to lend a hand shoppers in quite a few tactics, relatively than being limited to only promoting tickets. Staffing ranges will proceed to bear in mind the security and safety of shoppers and team of workers.”
The RMT basic secretary stated he can be searching for really extensive pay rises.
“We’re now not at [the point of addressing] pay these days,” Mr Lynch stated. “You don’t get a pay upward push in the event you haven’t were given a role, it’s so simple as that. And in the event you’re running 24-7, running round the clock, the prerequisites are vitally necessary.
“Once we paintings that out we’ll transfer directly to what the pay deal is. Everyone knows inflation may be very top. Those participants right here from a couple of corporate have now not had a pay deal for 3 years. And what’s been presented to Community Rail gained’t remedy that. That’s 8 according to cent over 3 years.
“Who is aware of what inflation is? We’ll get a determine in a couple of weeks’ time, however it’s going to be within the teenagers, it would pass upper. So there’s a large number of paintings to be carried out on pay, however we’re now not even on the level of discussing it but.”
When put next with ahead of the coronavirus pandemic, earnings from educate tickets is down about 20 according to cent – kind of £2bn every year.
Tim Shoveller, the lead negotiator for Community Rail, informed Occasions Radio: “The railway is operating an enormous monetary loss.”
He stated Saturday’s commercial motion “serves handiest to make sure our team of workers forgo much more in their pay unnecessarily, in addition to inflicting much more disruption for our passengers and extra destructive the railway’s restoration from the pandemic”.
The high minister has informed The Solar, “We will be able to stay an iron grip at the nationwide funds,” whilst a Liz Truss best friend – levelling up secretary Simon Clarke – stated Whitehall departments must “trim the fats”.
The Division for Shipping stated: “No ultimate determination has been taken on price ticket places of work. Station team of workers are essential for passengers’ protection and passengers will at all times take pleasure in face-to-face help at educate stations.
“The truth is price ticket places of work have observed a vital decline in use during the last decade, and by means of making station team of workers extra adaptable we can have a greater railway for passengers and taxpayers.”
A 12 months in the past, Ms Trevelyan campaigned in opposition to proposed cuts in price ticket workplace hours on the station serving her Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency.
She informed constituents she had written to LNER, the state-run educate operator, and stated: “I’m hoping they are going to pay attention to the troubles raised with them by means of passengers, and call to mind tactics during which we will be able to be certain that those that want to purchase a price ticket from an individual at a station are in a position to take action.”