RMT calls for urgent summit talks on 2012 Olympics

SPECIALIST TRANSPORT union RMT is urging London Mayor Boris Johnson and Transport Secretary Lord Adonis to facilitate an urgent industry wide Olympics Summit between the unions, train operating companies, London Underground and Network Rail to set out a clear transport framework for the 2012 games.

The call comes on the first full day of RMT’s Annual General Meeting on the Isle of Man.

RMT fears that the industry is sleep walking into a situation where it will be completely unprepared to deal with the specific safety, staffing and industrial relations issues that the Olympics will bring.

With the games now only three years away, RMT says that there is still no industry-wide transport plan for the games and no confirmation of what structure will be in place to take overall charge of transport policy for the 2012 Olympics.

There are urgent questions that we need to be addressing now. Will the economic climate allow for sufficient funding for transport for the Olympics? Will we have sufficient rail capacity, and properly trained staff, to deal with the massive extra demand that will be placed on our transport system? Will there be properly evaluated and resourced safety and security measures in place?

Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, said

“It is no secret that rail workers will be hoping that they will be fairly rewarded for contributing to the success of the Olympics. But we want to begin talks as a matter of urgency. RMT wants to avoid the pressure cooker and uncertainty of last minute talks. It’s in everyone’s interest that we sort this out now. Safety and security has to top the agenda.

We want a London Olympics where everyone involved at every level will be paid at least the London Living Wage. Big business makes billions out of the Olympics and it’s known as an event where corporate hospitality and largesse let rip. RMT wants 2012 to be an event where safe, high quality and properly resourced transport services are seen as an absolute priority and if the big corporations have to pick up the tab so be it.”

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