LOSS OF FRANCHISE – SOUTHEASTERN RAILWAYS

Our Ref: BR2/15/10

28th September 2021

Dear Colleague,

LOSS OF FRANCHISE – SOUTHEASTERN RAILWAYS

You will have seen this morning that SouthEastern railway has effectively collapsed and is being taken over by the Department for Transport under the public Operator of Last Resort. This will see SouthEastern Railways being renationalised to a publicly owned Train Operating Company, trading under the name of SE Trains Ltd. The date of the TUPE transfer is expected to be at 2am on Sunday 17th October 2021.

The collapse of the franchise is no reflection of the hard work you and your colleagues have put into the company, but rather an example of yet another broken private franchise model that is run to squeeze profits for its shareholders at the expense of its employees and the travelling public. The company have shown a total disregard for their responsibilities to the passengers that use their service and to their employees.

Following this news, some of you may have concerns. However, you should be in no doubt that your union will take whatever action is necessary to protect our members' jobs and conditions, pensions and working arrangements. We will enter discussions with both companies to ensure that the correct and appropriate TUPE process is applied. Your union will take all necessary steps to defend the interests of you and your colleagues on the franchise during the TUPE transfer and ensure your continuity of employment and all contractual obligations are met.

You and your colleagues have worked tirelessly as keyworkers on the front-line and during the pandemic went above and beyond what is expected of you. This failed Govia franchise, has seen shareholders spend their time checking their share prices, misusing taxpayer’s money, and ignoring the whole host of problems that have been caused by greed.

The situation will continue to be closely monitored by your union, with the National Executive Committee being updated on the issues. I will obviously continue to keep you and your colleagues routinely advised of any issues or questions that may arise. I trust this keeps you advised on the current process.

Yours sincerely

Michael Lynch
General Secretary