Home Business News RMT warns Shapps is ‘spouting nonsense’ to allow agency staff cover those on strike and put them in charge of ‘safety critical’ positions

RMT warns Shapps is ‘spouting nonsense’ to allow agency staff cover those on strike and put them in charge of ‘safety critical’ positions

by LLB political Reporter
21st Jun 22 10:32 am

The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has been accused of “spouting nonsense” with the proposed change in the law which will allow agency staff to cover those who are on strike.

Mick Lynch warned that agency staff or the deployment of students will not be “able to run 25,000 volt electricity control centres,” or even know how to signal high speed trains.

Shapps has said the new legislation will be in play within months, but the RMT General Secretary has issued the government with grave warnings over the move.

Lynch told the PA news agency, “Well, I don’t know how bringing in untrained, non-safety critical, inexperienced workers into a dangerous environment like the railway – with high speed trains, there are high voltage distribution systems, there are rules and regulations that have the power of statute – how that will help anyone, whether they are a passenger or a worker or manager or whatever?

“I don’t see how the use, the deployment of students or people who have got no work experience that are working for an agency will help anyone to resolve this situation, so as usual he’s just spouting nonsense given to him from some policy unit which doesn’t help to resolve the situations which are in front of us.”

Lynch said the plan to change the law is “draconian” and “a bit of an irrelevance” because it is not possible to put agency staff in charge of “safety critical” positions.

The RMT General Secretary added, “They’re not going to be able to run 25,000-volt electricity control centres, they’re not going to be able to signal high speed trains, they’re not going to be able to maintain rolling stock and they’re not going to be able to drive trains, so it’s a bit of an irrelevance really to the situation that we’re facing.

“If he (Shapps) wants to bring some people around and stand in empty stations to break strikes and pay them when he could be paying our members for a settlement, that’s something that he’s got to spend his time doing.”

Boris Johnson said the strikes were “wrong and unnecessary,” and  “The UK government supported the railway industry to the tune of £16bn.

“We kept our railways going and quite rightly too. We supported railway workers and their families. We supported the whole industry. It cost to every family in this country thousands of thousands of pounds to do that.”

The Prime Minister added addressing the public, “And I say this to the country as a whole, and we need to get ready to stay the course, because these reforms, these improvements in the way we run on railways are in the interests of the travelling public.

“They will help to cut costs, go back up and down the country. But they’re also in the interest of the railway railway workers and their families.”

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