Exposed: The ruinous work practices of militant rail unions that date back to the ‘steam age’
- Far-Left RMT union is expected to announce dates of a crippling national strike
- They are opposing the Government’s plans to slash the rail budget by £2billion
- Train drivers represented by the Aslef union have a ‘walking allowance’ that covers the time it takes to move from the mess room in the station to their train
Militant transport union barons threatening to bring Britain to a standstill have been accused of defending ruinous work practices that date back to the ‘steam age’.
An investigation by The Mail on Sunday has found that the rail industry is gripped by so-called ‘Spanish practices’ that prolong delays and hike up fare costs.
The far-Left RMT union is expected to this week announce the dates of a crippling national strike to oppose Government plans to slash the rail budget by £2 billion and modernise services.
Extraordinarily, RMT rail workers refuse to use Zoom or other video services because it would constitute a change to their working practices, and will only accept phone calls from their managers. ‘It’s OK to use the telephone because that is an accepted use of technology that has gone through trade union consultation many years ago, but moving to the next stage was not covered in existing agreements,’ a source said.
Militant transport union RMT is threatening to bring Britain to a standstill have been accused of defending ruinous work practices that date back to the ‘steam age’ (file photo
According to Whitehall sources, the RMT also insists that engineers at Network Rail, which manages Britain’s track and signals, refuse to carry out repairs outside their own areas. Maintenance crews at Euston Station in London would, for example, not be permitted to complete repairs at King’s Cross Station, less than half a mile away. It is further understood that rail bosses are also prevented from insisting that train crew and engineers work on Sundays, due to an agreement dating back to 1919.
Astonishingly, train drivers represented by the Aslef union have a ‘walking allowance’ that covers the time it takes to move from the mess room in the station to their train.
Drivers at Southeastern are given 12 minutes to walk to their trains at St Pancras, London. Drivers at East Midlands Trains get five minutes.
A Southeastern spokesman denied its allowance amounted to a ‘Spanish practice’ and said it was a ‘reasonable walking pace’.
Rail bosses have found it hard to change some of the practices due to fears of sparking further strikes. ‘The railway is a public service, not a museum,’ a Whitehall source said. ‘Striking to protect practices from the steam age would be an act of self-harm. With passenger numbers down and the network on life support, the railway must change.’
An RMT spokesman said: ‘It is a wholly unfair suggestion to say the union is blocking modernisation. The railways have moved through enormous changes, from coal to electrification, and now to embracing the digital revolution.’
Mick Whelan, Aslef general secretary, said: ‘Spanish practices? Que? There are no Spanish practces. We have negotiated sensible agreements on how we sell our labour.’ Network Rail declined to comment.
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