7 June 2016
RMT Press Office:
Govia now declare war on Gatwick Express staff as Brighton Argus calls for government action over GTR franchise chaos.
RAIL UNION RMT warned today that the failing Govia Thameslink Railway’s franchise has now shifted its attacks and abuse on staff from those working on the Southern Rail part of the operations to Gatwick Express in what the union has described as a “declaration of war.”
In a further letter to GTR Chief Executive Charles Horton RMT points out that the company blame-game, which exposes front line staff to abuse and threats from angry passengers wound up by GTR dirty-tricks department, is now impacting on train dispatch staff on the Gatwick Express service.
Before Govia took over, Gatwick Express had one of the highest performance indicators on the network at 94% - that has now collapsed to a rock bottom 66% - with the “Right Time” indicator, crucial on an airport connection, down to a shocking 43%. Last week alone 118 trains were cancelled and rammed-out short formations, cut from eight to four cars, are now common place leading to frustration and anger from irate passengers trying to catch a flight from the airport.
Today, the Brighton Argus Newspaper has joined calls for an urgent government intervention on the failing GTR franchise which is now clearly in terminal meltdown. More MP’s, including a raft of Tories, are calling for the company to be sacked.
THE Argus is today calling on the Government to step in and sort out our mess of a rail service. Sussex has the worst performing service in the country with scores of trains cancelled each day.
The Argus has also pulled out figures that show that no matter how bad the performance, under the rigged franchise arrangements fitted-up by the Government, the company cannot lose and has been handed a gold-plated, one way ticket to the bank.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Govia Thameslink Railway’s have now opted to spread their toxic staff relations from the Southern routes and on to Gatwick Express where it is our members copping it from irate passengers who have missed flights and not the top brass of this racketeering outfit.
“RMT will not tolerate the disgraceful attempts to blame the current operational crisis at GTR on the front-line staff when the responsibility lies with those at the top and their gross mismanagement of this basket-case franchise.
“With the performance collapsing from 94% to 66% since this mob took over it is scandalous that the Government are propping up GTR and are actively bending the franchise rules to allow them to get away with murder. Govia’s contract should be terminated with immediate effect with the fall-back option of the publicly-owned, Directly Operated Railways given the chance to sort out this shambles before it is too late.”