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News Report Page 12 of 15
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Italian job on West Coast Mainline tightens foreign grip on UK rail operations

THE Rail Union side of the RMT has recently revealed that following the takeover of the West Coast Mainline by a joint operation of Italian state operator Trenitalia and First Group means that nearly 80% of the UK rail network will be in foreign hands. The West Coast announcement means that a grand total of 78.6% of the UK network ‎will be overseas controlled, with the inclusion of the Abellio takeover of East Midlands Railways, by the end of the year. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:- "Under the Tories any state can run our railways other than the British state. It is a scandal and means that British passengers are directly subsidising rail operations across Europe and beyond as profits are shipped overseas starving the UK of desperately needed investment. The only solution to this racket is public ownership and it's now no longer a question of if, it's a question of when."  Please email us your thoughts on this topic via:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

Maritime members of the RMT are to hold demonstrations in Liverpool

THE Maritime Union part of the RMT will be holding demonstrations in Liverpool on Monday highlighting the scandal of low pay, recruitment of UK and Irish Ratings, and the failure to redeploy our members who worked on P&O's European Endeavour on the Irish Sea following the sale of that ship.

The demonstrations will take place on Monday, 19 August 2019.

► 13:30 P&O - Gladstone Dock, Bootle, Liverpool L20 1BG.

► 16:00 Seatruck Ferries, Brocklebank Dock, Port of Liverpool, L20 1DB (this Demo will target the 18:00 sailing).

The protests will be organised under the banner of RMT's SOS 2020 campaign, which is committed to ending the scandal of seafarer exploitation and increasing jobs for Ratings on RMT terms and conditions by securing the following reforms:-

1. Equal rights in employment, equality and immigration law for UK seafarers.

2. 'Cabotage' protections for UK crew and ships based on the USA's Jones Act.

3. Statutory targets to train thousands of UK Ratings.

4. Improved safety standards in UK shipping.

5. Protect the Royal Fleet Auxiliary's Merchant Seafarers from privatisation.

RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said:- "It is a scandal that after announcing the sale by P&O of the European Endeavour our members were not offered redeployment on 1 of the company's other Irish Sea vessels when suitable positions exist. Instead, P&O are filling ratings positions on the Irish Sea with agency crew, citing that their 'business model' needs to be maintained. It is shameful that shipping companies like P&O choose a business model that replaces long standing seafarers with 'low cost' workers. With this attitude from a major shipping company it is no surprise that of 101,000 Ratings and Officers that make our shipping industry tick, under 20% of these jobs are held by British seafarers, most of whom will retire in the next decade."

We are getting 2 extra trains per hour!

THE Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, has responded to the news that the new West Coast Mainline franchise will provide 2 extra trains per hour between Liverpool and London.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:- "This announcement of more frequent rail services between Liverpool and London is great news for passengers and it is something we have been lobbying hard for as a City Region in recent years. Too often I hear companies tell me they are thinking about relocating here, but are worried about the frequency of connections with London. This news should provide vital reassurance to those businesses and help to unlock new jobs and investment in our local economy. It also reflects the huge progress we are making as a City Region. In 2018 we were the fastest growing combined authority area in the country and today more people travel between Liverpool and London than they do between Leeds and London. This announcement is a key part of the improved connectivity that our City Region needs to fulfil its potential. I'll continue to lobby for Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2 connections for our region, which will unlock £15 billion in economic growth and create 24,000 new jobs in the Liverpool City Region alone. I'm also aware that this good news comes on the same day that passengers find out how much next year's fare rises will be. Making public transport affordable and accessible is key to tackling climate change and poor air quality, so I would urge rail companies to focus on increasing passenger numbers, rather than hitting them with above inflation price increases."

 Please email us your views on this very hot topic via:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

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