9 July 2018
RMT Press Office:
RMT demands full disclosure of all GTR contract documentation as speculation grows that they are unsackable and "new timetable" looms
With yet another new timetable due to be brought in in six days time rail union RMT has demanded that the full contract documentation - including the current interim arrangements - relating to the failed GTR operation be released for public scrutiny without redaction as speculation grows that the management contract between Govia is so shot full of holes that the company are effectively unsackable.
In addition, the Government allowed GTR to buy themselves out of their penalties and liabilities - effectively granting them the right to run the current shambles of a service without any risk of punative action being taken.
GTR have made it clear over the past two weeks that their legal advice is that they cannot be sacked. With the DfT having tight and direct control over the management contract the two parties are effectively chained together in a pact that has union-busting right at its core.
With a public "operator of last resort" already thought to be in place RMT is warning that a toxic combination of Government incompetence and ideological obsession with private ownership means that GTR can only be removed by mutual consent with heavy compensation or by risking expensive legal challenges, both of which would cost the public dear.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
"We are sick and tired of the Government and GTR hiding behind the smokescreen of "commercial confidentiality" while services lurch from crisis to crisis. It is time for the full details of the management contract to be made public so that those paying the price for this shambles can see exactly what they are up against.
"It is absolutely clear to anyone who looks at the history of this fiasco that the Tory political support for GTR tracks back to the companies agreement to axe the guards from their trains regardless of the consequences. That is why the contract terms are so blatantly loose. GTR know where the bodies are buried and have engineered themselves into a position of strength despite the services being reduced to rubble. It is an extraordinary state of affairs.
"Neither GTR or the Government should have anything to fear from disclosure unless, as we suspect, the management contract adds up to little more than an agreement to run a few trains occasionally, as and when it suits them, in return for taking on the guards and bulldozing through Driver Only Operation. This is exactly the strategy mapped out by Government franchise supremo Pete Wilkinson in his infamous "punch-up" speech.
"With the 15th July, and yet another stab at an emergency timetable, just a few days away it is time to bring this disgrace to an end, kick GTR off the tracks and bring these services into public ownership."