RMT demands government come clean on Tube plans
strike flag

RMT ramps up campaign to halt privatisation and driverless trains as Government coup takes over Transport for London

TUBE UNION RMT today wrote to Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps demanding that the government come clean on plans to privatise London Underground as part of its takeover of Transport for London.

Yesterday, the Secretary of State announced the names of the two government appointees who will report on TfL’s finances and also set out the terms of reference for a wide-ranging review that puts it in effective control of London’s transport system.

The review will include not only looking for ‘efficiency savings’ and promoting driverless trains, as previously reported, but will also open the door to privatisation by looking at ‘evidence and options for more fundamental changes’ including ‘any opportunities that alternative operating models could bring over the longer term, including consideration of structures and governance’.

RMT’s letter highlights the disastrous history of previous privatisations, not least on the Underground, accuses the government of trying to exploit a crisis in the name of repeating failed experiments and calls on the Secretary of State to rule out any operating models that entail privatisation, PFIs, PPPs or any other variant of private sector takeover.
The union also warned that members would be united in opposing any attempt to make keyworkers, who have worked heroically throughout the pandemic, pay for another crisis not of their making.

In the letter, Senior Assistant General Secretary Mick Lynch says:

“As this pandemic has made abundantly clear, privatisation has been a disaster for taxpayers, public and workers alike and we are still living with, and paying for, its consequences.

“You must know that RMT members will be absolutely united in opposing and fighting any attempted privatisation of the tube.

"Workers on the tube have put their lives on the line day in, day out to keep the Underground running throughout the worst crisis since the Second World War and they are not going to stand by while your government exploits this crisis in the interests of big business at their expense.”

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