Eastbourne conductors offer lift to mother concerned over son's kidney transplant

Members of the RMT union have responded to a mother who is concerned the rail strikes will affect her son's kidney transplant.

Friday, 16th December 2016, 3:44 pm
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 9:18 am
Jeni Desautels and her son Jakob. SUS-161214-145716001

Jeni Desautels, 35, of Tweedsmuir Close, is worried she may not be able to get her 13-year-old son Jakob to hospital in time for the operation he could be called to have at any moment.

Jakob is currently on home dialysis awaiting a transplant, but can only be treated at Evelina children’s hospital in London.

His mother said the strikes are putting her son’s life at risk.

Keith Mitchell, branch secretary of East Sussex RMT, responded to the article published in the Eastbourne Herald today (Friday) and on our website.

He said to Mrs Desautels, “I am sorry that you think that we – the conductors – are putting your son’s life at risk.

“We don’t strike lightly, we strike because we have no other choice because we are trying to put our passengers’ safety first.

“As the Branch Secretary of East Sussex Coastway RMT Union, I will give you this assurance that if your son has to go to hospital when we are on strike, and there is no other way you can get to London, I or one of my members will take you.

“As union members we are not picketing to offend the very people we are trying to protect.

“My members are hurting inside as they want to work, but we need to fight for our passengers’ safety.

“I will be on the picket line Monday and Tuesday [December 19 and 20] until 12pm.

“Mrs Desautels is more than welcome to come and ask us questions.”