Head Office Circular No. NP/021/14
Tuesday 10th February 2015
To the Secretary all Branches
Council of Executive members,
Regional Councils and Regional Offices.
Support the Demonstrations on 14th February to Save Jobs and Services on Great Western Services
On Valentine’s Day RMT campaigners will be out in force telling First Great Western that they need to show some true love and ensure passengers get the best possible service in the future.
With a new direct award about to be signed off for this franchise, FGW need to put to bed all concerns that the new IEP trains will come into service with only a restaurant in first class and a trolley service in standard. When FGW state “We have no plans to remove the provision of hot/cold food and beverages from these services and they are being built with substantial kitchen space and equipment on board” they are simply restating the terms of the specification that the trains are built to.
On East Coast the new operator has confirmed that their franchise will include Buffet cars in standard class on the new trains. Sadly no such assurances have been forthcoming from FGW, so we need to send a loud and clear message to all concerned. We will strengthen our campaign for no loss of catering facilities and press hard for clear assurances that the service will continue with Guards on trains, as well as dedicated station and maintenance staff.
This is not a bidding process like East Coast. It is a directly awarded contract being negotiated in secret and RMT believes the Government has a responsibility not to sign off a new contract which will give an inferior service. At the moment the DFT say it is up to the contractor what they wish to do and FGW say it is up to the DFT. The travelling public and our members deserve better than this.
That is why it is so important that everyone joins the Valentine’s Day protests being held at 9.30 on the 14th February at Bath Spa, Reading and Paddington stations.
If you are unable to attend you can still send messages of support and ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion 584 on this issue. It is quick and easy to do this from the dedicated link on the RMT website
Please add your voice and where possible turn up on the day to protect the interests of passengers and those communities who rely on these rail services by ensuring they keep the buffet car, the safety operational role of the Guard, dedicated in-house maintenance staff and do not propose station de-staffing.
Thanking you all in anticipation