THE DAY after Nick Clegg and his coalition partners confirmed that they are to fund a series of long-delayed rail improvements through a combination of job cuts and fare increases, rail union RMT have announced that they will be taking a rail protest right to the heart of his Sheffield constituency this week.
On Thursday, 19th July, RMT members will be joined by community campaigners and sister unions for a protest at SHEFFIELD RAILWAY STATION between 4.30pm and 6pm.
The campaign, against the McNulty proposals to sack guards and smash up ticket offices, will also assemble outside DONCASTER RAILWAY STATION on FRIDAY 20th July 2012 between 7am and 9am.
The original McNulty Rail Review plans are now the basis of the ConDem Government’s rail Command Paper and seek to expand the profits of the private train operators, reintroduce the lethal Railtrack model at local level and sack safety-critical train and station crew. The Command Paper also enshrines “gold plated”, extended franchises, mass ticket office closures and inflation-busting fare increases way off in to the future.
On Radio Four’s Today programme yesterday, Justine Greening confirmed that the implementation of long-delayed rail upgrades is slated to commence in two or three years time and will be funded through the implementation of the McNulty cuts.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“Yesterday Nick Clegg and David Cameron attempted to use the re-hashing of long-overdue rail investment plans as a convenient political backdrop to “re-launch” their collapsing coalition Government. On Thursday, Clegg will hear from the rail workers themselves whose jobs are threatened by the McNulty cuts that would be bulldozed through to allegedly fund investment.
“No one has campaigned harder than RMT for investment and upgrading of Britain’s railways under public ownership. This Government offer jam tomorrow and cuts today as the private rail rip-off merchants are laughing all the way to the bank.”