RMT calls on Scottish Parliament over Sleeper service

RMT calls on Scottish Parliament over Sleeper service

21 August 2014

RMT Press Office

RAIL UNION RMT today wrote to the Scottish Parliament’s Transport Minister Keith Brown calling for his urgent intervention as the crisis and scandal-hit facilities company SERCO, selected as the new operator of the Caledonian Sleeper service, sinks deeper into the financial mire.

In the letter to Keith Brown, attached, RMT points out that SERCO has slumped from profits of over £100 million to a loss of £7.3 million in the first half of this year. While the share price has plunged like a stone, leading market- makers have moved to downgrade the company from “hold” to “sell”.

The scandal-hit company only emerged from a ban on Government contracts earlier this year, just before the sleeper award, following revelations that it had been charging the British taxpayer for monitoring criminals who were dead, in prison or never tagged in the first place.  The company’s activities have been subject to an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

Now, in the latest move which seriously questions SERCO’s viability and reliability as a provider of the Caledonian Sleeper service, it announced this week that it is pulling out of the clinical health services market in the UK after recording multi-million pound losses leaving the NHS to pick up the pieces.

Mick Cash, RMT Acting General Secretary, said:

“RMT said at the time of the award of the Scottish Sleeper services to SERCO that this was a company with the most shocking record in the delivery of public services and events in recent weeks have not only confirmed that position but have compounded it as well.

“It would be a massive gamble for the Scottish Parliament to plough on regardless of the hard facts and leave the important and iconic Caledonian Sleeper service at clear risk of collapsing into the kind of chaos that seems to trail behind SERCO like a bad smell.

“RMT is available to meet with Keith Brown to discuss this issue which threatens our members jobs and risks the whole future of the sleeper service and which once again underlines the speculative racket which is rail privatisation.”

ENDS

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