RMT WARNS there is zero chance of agreement to government plans to increase transport services on 11th May in the current climate, as a survey of 10,000 transport workers reveals widespread failings to protect key transport workers and passengers from COVID 19.
Transport union RMT warned that there was zero chance of agreement to increase transport services in the current climate.
The announcement was in response to information provided by rail companies that ministers want them to be ready to ramp up the rail timetable on 11 or 18 May.
The warning comes on the back of an RMT survey of 10,000 transport workers which found widespread failings to adequately protect transport workers and therefore also passengers from COVID 19.
The survey found that:
- 4 in 10 transport workers think their employer has put profit or business priorities before safety during the coronavirus crisis.
- 1 in 3 transport workers think their employers’ action to protect them from coronavirus have been poor or terrible.
- Just 1 in 3 transport workers report that their employer has paused non-essential or routine work tasks.
- 1 in 3 transport workers have not been issued with any PPE.
- 4 out of 10 transport workers have no access to washing facilities and a quarter have not been issued with hand sanitisers.
- 92% of transport workers say they need to be tested for COVID-19 to protect themselves and passengers, but no such testing has taken place.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: ‘We are being told by a range of rail companies that ministers definitely want to be ready to increase rail services at some point in May.
‘Yet our survey of 10,000 transport workers has shown there are widespread failures to provide even the most basic protections for our members. If these are not addressed then a ramping up of transport services will also ramp up the risk to workers and passengers.
‘To protect both our members and passengers, I will be writing to the Transport Minister, Grant Shapps, saying there is zero chance of this being agreed in the current climate.
‘We will not accept unsafe directives being handed down on high from the boardroom or the cabinet room. Transport workers are key workers in keeping essential workers and goods moving and that means they will be key in deciding when it’s safe to increase transport services.’
• The Unite union has successfully negotiated that members working on the Woolwich Ferry will receive 100 per cent of their pay, if they are furloughed while there is a reduced service due to the coronavirus pandemic.