Our Ref: (HC/16/3)

26th August 2020

Dear Colleague,


I am writing in relation to the above matter and following reports I have received from the Lead Officer. The union has at every opportunity challenged SSP and has attempted to stop their reckless plans of redundancies.

The attitude of SSP is abhorrent and they are adamant on pressing ahead with these redundancies. The company are refusing to open the majority of their outlets and are instead opting to keep these units permanently closed. However, the company has failed to test the viability of opening these units and failed to utilise the furlough period to test demand. Their decision is without question hasty and reckless and has been taken before any increase in passenger numbers or before the easing of lockdown restrictions. The behaviour of SSP throughout these consultations has been obstructive and dismissive. They have shown little regard for their employee’s and are instead focused on squeezing as much profit out of the industry as possible.

RMT has continued to question the approach taken by SSP and when seeking commitments on whether these units will open the company’s response was lacking. SSP advised that some units may open in the future. However, the company refused to provide any guarantees on offering redundant staff their jobs back.

The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and is outraged and appalled at the behaviour of SSP. This is clearly a company with no moral conscience and their treatment of staff is disgraceful. The NEC believes that it is clear SSP has no interest in negotiating with this union in any way, as the union has put counter proposals to the company and has yet to receive a response.

Therefore, the NEC has instructed me to issue an urgent press release condemning the actions and conduct of SSP. In the unions press release we will be highlighting the appalling attitude the company has to its staff, negotiations and the railway industry as a whole. The union will be raising the redundancy issues with our parliamentary group. RMT will also make the parliamentary group aware of the practice of SSP incorporating outstanding annual leave into the redundancy notice period.

It is disappointing that I am unable to write to you on more positive terms. The union is doing everything possible to stop SSP going ahead with this dangerous and reckless redundancy process. The RMT will continue to fully support you and your colleagues and should you have any concerns I urge you to contact your local representative or regional organiser.

I will write to you again once I have received further information.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary