RMT press releases

RMT response to charity report that transport access for disabled people is going backwards

Responding to the report today from disabled charity Whizz-Kidz that young people are being denied opportunities because of poor access to transport services, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
 
“This is an important report that shames the transport industry in Britain and which should force the issue of disabled access to services right up the agenda.
 

Rolling stock crisis on Piccadilly Line leads to two days of severe delays

A rolling stock crisis on the Piccadilly Line, London Underground’s fourth busiest line transporting an average of 600,000 people a day, has led to two days of severe delays for passengers as warnings from tube union RMT about the state of the current fleet have come home to roost with a vengeance. 
 
RMT, which is currently in dispute with LU on the Piccadilly Line over a range of issues, says that up to 17 trains are out of action due to wheel flats alone – worn running gear that poses a danger for passengers and staff alike.
 

Property development focused TFL bill before Parliament again

The Transport for London Bill is before Parliament today - Monday 16 November. This bill is designed to help TfL fill the funding gap arising from impending cuts in the grant it receives from central government, by allowing it to use offshore companies to develop its property.

Leaks show that, from the turn of the decade, the government will cut £700 million a year from its contribution to TfL’s budget.

Tube reports record user numbers as Tories plot more big cuts

RMT on news of record tube user numbers today as Government lines up further cuts of £700 million a year.

General Secretary Mick Cash said

"The record numbers of tube users shows just what a success the service is and that is down to the hard work of the staff who make it tick. The fact that the news comes just as the Government are lining up annual additional cuts at TFL of £700 million a year is deeply worrying to both staff and passengers alike.

Overground fares subsidising Berlin and Hong Kong passenger's ticket costs

New research by Britain’s largest rail union has found that profits made by London Overground services could be used to cut fares for passengers by 6.5% a year on average but are instead being used to subsidized rail services in Hong Kong and Berlin.

The report, released on the eight anniversary of the start of London Overground operations, also warns that foreign railways are to continue to profit at the expense of London Passengers as all the bidders are for the next London Overground contract are owned by French or German state railways, Hong Railway and a Singapore based Transport Group

Motion tabled in parliament

MPs have tabled a motion in parliament stating although London Overground is portrayed as public rail services this “masks the reality that London Overground is in fact a private rail franchise jointly operated by subsidiaries of Hong Kong and German state railways”.

The MPs say they are “dismayed could have been used to fund an average year on year fare cut of 6.5% for Londoners but instead are ultimately being used to support the railways of Berlin and and Honk Kong.”

The MPs support the unions demand for “London Passengers to be put before profit by allowing London Overground services to be operated directly in public ownership.”

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“There has been a deliberate and cynical attempt by the London Mayor and others to try and paint London Overground as part of the publicly-owned Transport for London operation when it is, in fact, nothing more than another private franchise used as a cash-cow by the German and Hong Kong state railways to subsidise their fares at the expense of Londoners.

“Clearly, if London Overground was publicly owned there would be scope to slash fares by 6.5% a year rather than seeing that money shipped to Berlin and Hong Kong to prop up their rail operations. RMT and our Parliamentary Group will continue to fight for that publicly owned option for our railways as an alternative to the cash-laden rip off that the British people have been lumped with for the past two decades.”

 

London Overgound – Myths and realties

London Overground Ltd was launched on 12 November 2007. With its London Transport branding it is often portrayed as a public railway.

This masks the reality that London Overgound is in fact a type of rail franchise known as a concession and is jointly operated by Arriva who are owned by German State Railways and MTR who are owned by Hong Kong Railways.

Between them these companies are paid 10% of all London Overground’s Passenger Income. This income has been used to support dividend payments which instead could have been used to fund a average 6.5% year on year fare cut. See table below.

All figure in £m

Passenger Income (PI)[i]

P.I. (Private share 10% of)[ii]

Dividend (31 March)[iii]

Dividend as % of P.I.[iv]

2013-14

£149

£14.90

£4.60

3.09

2012-13

£125

£12.50

£8.80

7.04

2011-12

£93

£9.30

£8.50

9.14

       

6.5% average

This siphoning off of funds to foreign railways is set to continue as the shortlisted bidders for the next contract due to begin in November are all foreign owned as shown below.

Arriva Rail London Ltd (Deutsche Bahn);

LoKeGo Ltd (51:49 joint venture of Keolis (UK) Ltd and Go-Ahead Holding Ltd);

Metroline Rail Ltd (owned by Singapore-based transport group ComfortDelGro);

MTR Corp (Hong Kong)

Instead of meekly accepting this situation Transport for London should be standing up for London Passengers and exploring all options for running these services in public ownership including any legislative powers it needs. This is especially the case when passengers are about to be told of even more cuts to Transport for London’s budget in the forthcoming Comprehensible Spending Review.

Early Day Motion

“That this house notes that London Overground rail services are portrayed as public rail services run by Transport for London; is concerned however that this masks the reality that London Overground is in fact a private rail franchise jointly operated by subsidiaries of Hong Kong and German state railways who have ensured that almost £22 million of their share of revenue has been paid out in dividends between 2011and 2014 ; is dismayed that these profits could have been used to fund a average year on year fare cut of 6.5% for Londoners but instead are ultimately being used to support the railways of Berlin and and Hong Kong; is deeply concerned that Londoner’s subsiding foreign railways are set to continue as the only bidders for next London Overground contract are subsidiaries of French, German, Hong Kong and Singapore railways; and calls for London passengers to be put before profit by allowing London Overground services to be operated directly in public ownership.”

EDM tabled by Gareth Thomas MP (Harrow West)

http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2015-16/696

RMT on this mornings announcement of 1% increase in tube fares

This morning it was announced that there would be a  1% increase in tube fares in 2016.

General Secretary Mick Cash said:

"Travellers in and out of London are forking out huge sums for their rail and tube travel and they rightly expect a safe, reliable and well staffed service but that is being compromised against a background of cuts which is leaving stations and trains dangerously overcrowded.

RMT "committed to delivering night tube service"

RMT on Night Tube and Pay Talks Today

General Secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT is committed to delivering a night tube service that works for Londoners and which properly rewards and respects the staff across the network who will be absolutely key to making it tick. Safety of both staff and passengers has to be right ‎at the core of any agreement.

RMT confirms 48 hours strike next week after massive vote for action on Docklands Light Railway

RAIL UNION RMT said today that staff across all grades on Keolis Amey Docklands Light Railway will strike for 48 hours next week  in a dispute over a range of serious unresolved issues that are wrecking industrial relations.
 
The announcement of action comes after talks failed to make any serious progress following the confirmation of a massive 92% vote to strike by RMT members last week.
 

RMT outraged as TfL stick machine in front of memorial

RMT outraged as TFL sticks automatic currency machine in front of 7/7 memorial at Kings Cross.

TUBE UNION RMT today demanded immediate action from TFL to remove an automatic currency machine from directly in front of the memorial to victims of the 7/7 bombings at Kings Cross station.

Tube staff are furious that the memory of those who died and were injured, and the personal risks that tube staff themselves took in the ‎rescue operation, is being tarnished in such a disgraceful and cynical fashion.

DLR members furious as bosses try to bulldoze in worst working practices

RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that over 300 staff across all grades on Keolis Amey Docklands Light Railway have voted by massive majorities for both strike action and action short of a strike in a dispute over a range of serious unresolved issues that are wrecking industrial relations.

Over 92% voted to strike with an even larger majority for action short of a strike.
 
The key issues at the heart of the dispute are: