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RMT demands Grayling ‘comes out of hiding’

The RMT union is demanding that Transport Secretary Chris Grayling “comes out of hiding” amid claims that “Monday Meltdown” has turned into a “dirty dozen” days of commuter chaos.

This comes as the union has announced further strike action on Greater Anglia in the ongoing dispute over the role of safety-critical train guards.

General secretary Mick Cash criticised Mr Grayling’s absence from the public debate after it emerged that scores of rail workers had reported receiving hurtful and often threatening abuse over cancelled and delayed journeys.

Rail companies have apologised over the past few weeks for the major disruption resulting from widespread timetable rescheduling.

Mr Cash called it “absolutely disgusting” that railway bosses and Mr Grayling have hidden from train passengers while RMT members “working at the sharp end” are “bearing the brunt of public anger without a shred of support.

“Not only is Chris Grayling incompetent and not fit to run a railway but he is a coward as well, leaving RMT members to take the flack for failed policies that are his responsibility.”

Mr Cash urged Mr Grayling to resign, and demanded that the rails be taken back into public ownership.

Meanwhile, rail staff from Norfolk to Essex will be striking on Saturday June 16 and 23 against driver-only operation (DOO).

Mr Cash lashed out at the “intransigence” of Abellio Greater Anglia, and said that workers had no other option but to take action.

“Despite strenuous efforts by RMT reps to reach a negotiated settlement to this dispute, the vital safety role of the guard is still under threat and the extension of DOO remains a serious risk.

“We have seen in the past two weeks what happens when guards are taken off our trains, with the scandal of denying disabled passengers equality and access on Southern Rail.

Mr Cash congratulated his members and emphasised that the union remains available for “genuine and meaningful” discussions with the company to solve this dispute.

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