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Railways: Industrial Relations

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL10012, tabled on 4 September 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 12 July (HL9184) refers only to disputes between a transport operator and a union; and what the responsibilities of the Minister of State for Transport in connection with rail industrial relations comprise other than involvement in disputes.

Answered on

18 September 2018

Further to the Written Answer to HL9184, specific ministerial responsibilities are not broken down in this manner. In addition, day to day responsibility for industrial relations and disputes in the rail sector lie with the individual employers, such as transport operators and trades unions. The Minister of State for Transport has no formal role in this relationship.

However, the Minister often meets with officials to discuss policy areas relating to rail industrial relations and receives regular weekly updates on industrial relations disputes. Also, when the Minister meets the industry’s employers, part of that engagement may include an update on their plans for improving industrial relations. In addition, where there are industry-wide questions that could benefit from engagement with trade unions then, where appropriate, the Minister may seek discussion with them. For example, invitations to meet with the Minister have been extended to ASLEF, RMT, TSSA and Unite to discuss the development of an approach for the rail industry to move towards adopting CPI as the inflation measure for industry costs and fare rises. As at 6 September, the Department for Transport has not received any positive responses to these invitations.