RMT Press Office:
General Secretary Mick Lynch has written to the Transport Secretary Anne Marie Treveleyan to take “urgent steps to allow a negotiated settlement” after the latest figures show railway bosses benefiting from government tax cuts.
Railway bosses stand to gain up to £61,000 per annum from the Chancellor’s tax giveaway for the better off. They stand to get more from the government’s tax cut than most RMT members will earn in a year and in many cases twice as much.
In the letter, Mr Lynch wrote:
“As you know, when we met on 22nd September, I described the meeting as ‘positive’ but the only public statement since then has been from the Chancellor during his fiscal event stating he will be bringing forward legislation to remove rail workers’ right to strike.
“Despite our positive discussion, the Chancellor’s intervention has made an already difficult dispute harder to resolve.
“I am also concerned the government has recently been taking action that is lining the pockets of the “railway rich” whilst rail workers continue to endure pay freezes and real terms pay cuts.
“The privatised rail industry is largely dependent on tax-payer subsidy and the government is using this to support the railway rich* in a number of ways, including:
“The highest paid directors of a number of rail companies receiving annual increases in remuneration between 15 – 273%, much of this on the basis of financial results that have been funded by the government.
“Railway bosses stand to gain up to £61,000 per annum from the Chancellor’s tax giveaway for the better off. These people stand to get more from your government’s tax cut than most of my members will earn in a year and in many cases twice as much.
“It was announced last month that the rolling stock companies who own most of the trains, paid out £152 million pounds in dividends in 2021, entirely funded by your government and the taxpayer.
“FirstGroup, Abellio, Arriva and Go-Ahead, who own most of the train companies, received £157 million in dividends in the last two years from their rail operations – again funded by the government and taxpayers.
“The fact that your government is on the one hand picking up the tab for this greed but on the other hand saying that rail workers must accept pay restraint and worse conditions of employment only reinforces the determination of my members to get a better deal. I would urge you to take urgent steps to allow a negotiated settlement that meets our members’ aspirations over jobs, pay and conditions.”