TUC backs call for more union power on railways

The
TUC has welcomed Lord Cullen’s "quietly revolutionary" report into
railway safety and backed his recommendations to give more power to unions and
the Health and Safety Executive.

The
report called for greater Government funding of the HSE’s Railways Inspectorate
so that it can prevent accidents, rather than spend resources on investigations
after the event. Investigations are to be run by a separate Railways Accident
Investigation Board.

Lord
Cullen would like to see a better relationship between unions and management
and recommended that unions have representatives on the new Railway Industry
Safety Board.

He
said in the report that train operating companies should lose overall control
of the safety rules that govern the industry to the RISB and the rules should
be legally binding.

TUC
general secretary John Monks said, "The Government needs to give the HSE
the money it needs to get tougher sooner with safety failures by the railway
companies rather than merely investigate after the disasters occur.

"Railway
companies need to accept that unions should have a say from top to bottom in
making sure that the travelling public is protected. In fact, we would go
further and urge greater involvement for passengers, including a system that
lets them blow the whistle on safety concerns."

By
Lisa Bratby

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