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Watch: Welsh rail workers ‘removed’ to keep England’s railways going says Drakeford

21 Jun 2022 3 minute read

Welsh rail workers were “removed” to keep England’s rail network going, in a decision backed by the UK Government, Mark Drakeford has said.

Speaking during First Minister’s Questions, he hit back against Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies who said that trains were not running across Wales.

Network Rail said that it wasn’t the case that they had removed workers from Wales.

But Mark Drakeford said in the Senedd that there was no strike in Wales and that trains weren’t running because Network Rail staff had been diverted elsewhere.

“Let me explain to the leader the opposition why trains aren’t running in Wales,” Mark Drakeford said.

“It’s because his government has created a dispute with Network Rail, and Network Rail have removed some of the staff who could have been available to make trains run in Wales in order to keep trains running in England.

“I wonder if he supports that measure which was a decision by his government to deny you people in Wales the opportunity to travel where there is no dispute – by removing those workers to look after, which clearly are for them a a higher priority than Welsh citizens will ever be.”

Network Rail said that “no Network Rail staff have been redeployed from Wales to England during this industrial action”.

“We’re continuing to work with our partners at Transport for Wales and other train operators to keep passengers moving where we can,” they said.

‘No trains’

Earlier Andrew RT Davies had asked Mark Drakeford whether he supported the strikes in Wales.

Mark Drakeford answered: “Llywydd there are no strikes in Wales. There is no dispute between Transport for Wales and the trade union where I am responsible for these things.

“Workers are not on strike because of the way in which the Welsh Government acts on a social partnership basis to bring people around the table together. To make sure that conversations take place and that solutions are reached.

“How very different from the entirely absent UK Governments who abandon their responsibilities and mean the 1000s of people unable to travel due to the dereliction of duty, which is so apparent in their approach to industrial relations.”

Amid jeering from backbenchers on both sides, Andrew RT Davies responded:

“When you got to Cardiff Central Station today or the rail network in north Wales or mid Wales there are no trains running First Minister,” he said.

“I do note that you didn’t say that you supported the strikes which is to be welcomed, which is to be welcomed First Minister.

“But surely, in an era where we need the public transport system to come back to life after COVID, We need to move away from the 1950s working practices and move into the 2020s practices that see people are sharing vans to get to the same site to work.

” Surely you’d agree with me on that First Minister, that work practices do need updating in our railways, whether that’s in Wales, England, Scotland or Northern Ireland.”


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
5 months ago

I support the RMT and the leader of the Senedd.

TORIES OUT!

George
George
5 months ago

“Workers are not on strike because of the way in which the Welsh Government acts on a social partnership basis to bring people around the table together. “ This seems unwise to say when it’s possible that there will be strikes in Wales in future. However the main point is this: ““It’s because his government has created a dispute with Network Rail, and Network Rail have removed some of the staff who could have been available to make trains run in Wales in order to keep trains running in England.” Why are Welsh trains, where there are no strikers today, basically… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
5 months ago

When will RT cease banging on about how wonderful the UK Government are and stop this sycophantic drivel?

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
5 months ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

He’s got half the menu down his tie…………….

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

Antagonist Andrew RT Davies has never said anything positive in his sorry life. He exists soley to criticise anything and everything Wales & Welsh. His job is to troll Wales.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
5 months ago

96 years ago the Tories broke the General Strike by blackleg students from Oxbridge driving railway trains. Johnson and Shapps are trying to do much the same with unqualified agency staff today and ARTy thinks this is modernising working practices.

Is there any treatment for that?

Arwyn
Arwyn
5 months ago

ARTD2 really is a political pygmy isn’t he. The empty can that rattles the most. The voice of the noisy minority.

Quornby
Quornby
5 months ago

Victory to the RMT and all working people being abused to keep the rich rich. I80

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
5 months ago

The reason we have this strike is because the Tory government wanted one – a dispute with the dreaded unions (let’s now forget that they think of them as the ‘enemy within’) is essentially red meat for his wavering supporters. By provoking a strike they are hoping to shore up Bojo the Clown’s support.

boda wennol
boda wennol
5 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

And provide yet another diversion from the mess he’s already got us into

Ken covack
Ken covack
5 months ago
Reply to  boda wennol

It will become just another fault of the unions and Labour and nothing to do with the tories in the annals of torie history books. How diabolically sad and dishonest they are.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
5 months ago

There is no dispute between TfW and the rail unions here.
The fact we have few trains running in Wales is due to the rail infrastructure is still owned and controlled by the discredited UK government’s Network rail organisation.

When Wales gets the whole control of its railway infrastructure it would be able to run and develop an integrated system for the whole of Wales.

We also need the control of our tax system and finance to be able to grow our country.
Again, Wales is compromised by the UK and its government.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
5 months ago

Why was the Welsh true and effective opposition leader, Adam Price cut off in the video?

The original mark
The original mark
5 months ago

I’m surprised ARTD isn’t blaming Labour for this strike, as is the case in the majority of the right wing msm, everyone appears to have forgotten the tories have been squatting in the HoC the last 12 years, everything wrong in the UK is completely down to the tories, watch how they turn like rabid dogs on the teachers, doctors and nurses when they start industrial action.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

Yes, it’s the usual Tory excuse of blaming Labour, although a bit difficult at present seeing they’ve been in power for over 12 years so choose to inflame the situation rather than mediate. We are now facing the summer of discontent thanks to the most shambolic Tory Government in political history.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
5 months ago

That’s what he was trying to do, but Mark Drakeford called him out on it 😂😂

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
5 months ago

Delighted that Plaid leader Adam Price and Plaid MS Luke Fletcher joined railworkers on the picket line today
https://nation.cymru/news/labour-tories-rail-strikes-plaid-cymru-adam-price/

DAI Ponty
DAI Ponty
5 months ago

Since 2010 under a TORY government in London over a period of 12 years they have had 8 PAY RIDES I SAY AGAIN 8 PAY RISES their PAY HAS GONE UP 24% the grubby little oik Shapps keeps saying greedy workers its the Tories who are the Greedy and the C E O of companies R T DAVIES IS ONE HORRIBLE SLIMEY B

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

This sums up slimy Andrew RT Davies & Welsh Conservatives. He & they are quite happy to put Wales at a disadvantage to please their English masters, and why they should never ever be allowed to hold the reigns of power in Wales. They are a dangerous threat who would happily sell Wales out. They are beyond treacherous.

Last edited 5 months ago by Y Cymro
Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
5 months ago

RT talks about 1950s working practices when Mark Drakeford has already told him we are operating in the present day and there is no dispute with TFW. In his desperation not to look pathetic, RT talks about updating working practices in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland when the First Minister is responsible for Wales only. I’m sure when RT gets up to speak, he sees straight green benches and oak panelled walls. Delusional!

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
5 months ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

The bit I left out of the above was taking people from Wales to use for apparently more important matters and people in England. We are just citizens in Wales but we are second class citizens in the false country known as ‘England & Wales’. Independence ends this. Without it, the abuse continues.

Paul
Paul
5 months ago

Argumentative English supremacist political pygmy… Why does he even live here? He very clearly has a level of hatred for Wales that no existing instrument could ever hope to measure. Contempt for Welsh people having a say in Wales drips from every pore of his being… Vile man.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul

I must say I did like RTD’s bit that we must “move into the 2020s practices that see people are sharing vans to get to the same site to work.” What does he know about working practices by RailTrack? I imaging that the answer is not very much. I suspect the 2020s practices that he would really like to see is the cutting of workers pensions and the raising of the age of retirement. All power to the railway workers, Teachers, Nurses, Barristers and working people in general. We need to put a stop to the idea that the share… Read more »

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
5 months ago

So the Tories in Westminster are quietly sitting back and just blaming the unions (even though they hold the purse strings) and the Tories in Cardiff Bay are just blaming Welsh Labour. It’s a recipe for disaster for them. The Tories are in charge of the country to do nothing is going to see chaos this summer. No matter how much they blame everybody else, in the hope of gaining more votes in the future, the public will just blame them for their incompetency. People will remember when they suffer.

Last edited 5 months ago by Steve Duggan
Gareth
Gareth
5 months ago

While putting RT Davies in his place, not hard when you consider how poor a politician Davies is, Mark Drakeford points out that the English are a “higher priority than Welsh citizens will ever be”. Having recognised and admitted this, how can he ever again claim we are better off in the Disunited Kingdom, when we are always treated as second class, an afterthought, always subservient to England. He sometimes ruins his own unionist mantra, with words such as these.

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