You can read 9 more articles this month
RAIL staff could be forced to take industrial action across Britain if pensions are threatened because of wrangles over franchise bids, RMT leader Mick Cash warned at the Scottish TUC Congress today.
Last week the Department for Transport at Westminster banned Stagecoach from bidding for train franchises after the company, which also holds a 49 per cent shareholding in Virgin Rail Group, refused to take on the full historic pension liabilities of railway workers.
Mr Cash said: “The fiasco over Stagecoach and Virgin being banned from the franchise lottery because they refuse to underpin their pension obligations has laid bare the chaos of privatisation and has left RMT members, including many in Scotland, facing a period of deep uncertainty.
“RMT has made it clear that any threat to our members’ pensions, jobs or working conditions as a result of a politically driven privatisation crisis they are not responsible for will be met with co-ordinated and robust action.”
The RMT general secretary also reiterated his union’s calls for the renationalisation of ScotRail, which is currently run by Abellio, owned by the Dutch national rail operator. “In Scotland, there is no excuse for allowing the privatisation racket to continue any longer,” he said.
“ScotRail should be taken into public ownership and run as a public service in the interests of safe, secure and reliable services for all.”
Scottish Labour and the Scottish Greens pushed for an early end to the ScotRail franchise in the Scottish Parliament last autumn but were outvoted by Tories and the SNP.
Green MSP John Finnie said today: “The Scottish government should stop prevaricating and take steps to strip the abysmal Abellio of the ScotRail franchise, putting in place a public-sector operator as soon as possible.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.