25 May 2018
RMT Press Office:
RMT demands action as staff bear the brunt of anger from passengers over this week's timetable meltdown
RAIL UNION RMT today demanded urgent action as staff report that they are taking the full force of passenger anger for this week's timetable chaos, while train company bosses hide away in their luxury offices.
The new timetables have led to wholesale cancellations and delays with frontline staff on Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Northern having to face the full brunt of passengers’ frustration.
On GTR, among the many cancellations, late night services have been dropped from Horsham to Peterborough leaving station staff to face verbal abuse because of the failure to run the advertised timetable due to driver shortages. On the evening of 23rd May the late night train from St.Pancras was cancelled and no alternative travel arrangements put in place apart from taxis from Stevenage for passengers to travel on to Peterborough.
These cancellations have been taking place since the start of the timetable and are set to continue for at least another three weeks.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The vast majority of passengers know that the ongoing timetable problems in the wake of Meltdown Monday are down to the train companies and not the staff. But some lash out from sheer frustration.
"There is no excuse for that whatsoever and the union will not tolerate a situation where our members at the sharp end are effectively being deployed as human shields by a remote and incompetent management.
“It’s time to sack these spivs who just see the railway as a one way ticket to the bank without a thought for passengers and staff.
"This week’s disastrous new timetable rollout just further proves that GTR and Northern are not fit to run a railway and need to be taken out of the hands of the profiteers and be brought under public control.”