Union set to protest at rail conference in Leeds

The RMT's Mick Cash.
The RMT's Mick Cash.
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A union is set to hold a protest in Leeds on Thursday against what it claims are plans to cut “jobs, services and safety” on local rail services.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union is staging its demonstration outside the Queens Hotel in City Square from 8am to 9.30am.

Thursday will see the hotel hosting this year’s National Rail Conference, where Rail Minister Claire Perry will be among the speakers.

RMT leaders say they want to highlight their concerns about the new Northern and TransPennine Express train franchises, which will be jointly managed by a partnership called Rail North.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “The union will be at the National Rail Conference to send out the message that it is not only passenger safety and services that will be affected by the Rail North carve-up, so will our economy and communities.

“Thousands of decent rail jobs will be under threat, deskilled and casualised.”

Former Conservative transport minister Steven Norris will also be attending Thursday’s conference, which has been organised by industry magazine RAIL.