EDM | Rail Renewals

Posted on: 27th June 2011

Andrew George MP has signed EDM number 1383 in 2010-11, proposed by Kelvin Hopkins on 01/02/2011.

The motion reads,

That this House welcomes the railway renewal work undertaken by rail workers including installing overhead lines, signals and laying track which is vital to a safe and efficient railway; notes renewals are undertaken for Network Rail by numerous contractors and subcontractors and is deeply concerned Network Rail is managing these contracts by prioritising short-term budgetary objectives over the needs of the railway infrastructure; believes this feast and famine approach has resulted in essential renewals being delayed, such as work that could be undertaken by Babcock Rail in the North East, which will lead to a poorer service and increased costs; is alarmed that this policy has already directly resulted in the loss of thousands of skilled rail jobs and railway knowledge, as demonstrated by Jarvis being forced into administration, and is being used as a deliberate strategy to worsen conditions of employment and to extend agency and sub-contracted labour; further notes research undertaken by the RMT union and academics demonstrating that the complex network of contractors and sub-contractors means there are tens of thousands of rail workers employed by a multitude of companies undertaking renewals and that substantial savings could be achieved if renewals were instead carried out in-house as was the case before railway privatisation; and urges Network Rail and the Government to assess urgently the benefits of bringing renewals in-house under the control of Network Rail and to convene an industry-wide summit, including trade unions, to develop a co-ordinated strategy for railway infrastructure and skills retention.