RMT General Secretary Mick Cash yesterday warned Transport Secretary Grayling against trying to impose a ‘pay cap’ on railworkers. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling wants future fare and pay increases to be based on the lower Consumer Prices Index, rather than the higher Retail Price Index.
This would mean a cut in workers’ pay rises.
The RMT union accused Grayling of trying to impose a ‘pay cap’ on its members.
Cash said: ‘If Chris Grayling seriously thinks that front-line rail workers are going to pay the price for his gross incompetence and the greed of the private train companies he’s got another think coming.
‘RMT will fight any attempt to impose a pay cap on our members in a drive to protect private train company profits.
‘This is a basket case government and a lame duck transport secretary continuing all-out war on staff and passengers alike.’ Cash continued to describe the 3.2% rail fare hike for January just announced by Tory Transport Secretary Grayling as ‘another nail in the coffin of Britain’s rip-off privatised railways.’
The TUC commented that fares had risen by 42% over the past 10 years, while earnings have only grown by 18%. The price of regulated rail fares will increase by 3.2% in January 2019 – adding more than £100 to many annual season tickets.
Cash said: ‘Chris Grayling’s desperate attempt to try and make front-line rail workers pay for his incompetence and the train operators’ greed has backfired on him just like everything else he touches.
‘If it wasn’t for the profiteering and exploitation that is endemic after more than two decades of rail privatisation we would have enough cash in the pot to invest in staffing and infrastructure and hold down fares at the same time. ‘What will really stick in the throat of the long-suffering British public is the fact that three quarters of our train services are now controlled by overseas operators with the profits from today’s fare rises shipped across the channel to subsidise passengers in Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam.’
• Rail union RMT has confirmed that it has tabled a motion at this year’s Trade Union Congress in Manchester in September calling for Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to go. The motion, contained within the TUC preliminary agenda published this morning, says: ‘Congress believes the collapse of Carillion, a major rail contractor; the failure of the Virgin/Stagecoach on the East Coast Line; the rail timetable chaos (which also led to increased threat of assaults against rail workers); the cancellation of rail electrification projects; and loss of skilled rail jobs has shown again that the privatisation and fragmentation of our railways and public services has been an abject failure. ‘Even though these rail policy disasters have taken place under Chris Grayling he has refused to take any responsibility and Congress supports the growing calls for Chris Grayling to resign.’