24 February 2015
RMT Press Office
Rail union RMT has organised a series of protests along the East Coast Main Line to mark the final day of its operation in the public sector as the Government dumps it back into the laps of the private-sector from the 1st of March, despite its financial and performance success as a public service and in the face of two previous, grotesque private failures that took the inter-city route to the brink of collapse.
The protests, on Saturday 28th February, will take place as follows:
Kings Cross, London – 09.00 – 10.00hrs
Edinburgh Waverley – 08.00 – 09.00hrs
Doncaster – 09.00 – 10.00hrs
- Since 2009, East Coast has returned over £1bn to the Treasury – paying cash back to the taxpayer while the private companies line their pockets with subsidies
- has had record high customer satisfaction ratings,
- has increased profits with that money being invested directly back into improving services instead of being trousered by private shareholders
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Six years ago the East Coast Main Line collapsed into chaos when National Express threw the keys back because they couldn’t extract enough profit. That followed an earlier spectacular private sector failure on the line when Sea Containers went bust. It was left to the public sector to not only rescue this vital North/South rail link from total meltdown but to turn around its performance and to start handing hundreds of millions of pounds back to the taxpayer in contrast to the rip-off private companies.
“This weekend, in an act of gross national betrayal of the British people that will cost us dear, the route is being handed over to Virgin/Stagecoach to be run again solely in the interests of private profit, taking a third gamble after the two previous corporate failures.
“This re-privatisation is based on pure, hard-right, Thatcherite ideology and is an act of industrial vandalism that will smash apart Britain’s most successful rail company for just one reason – it is publicly owned.
“On Saturday RMT will mark this latest scandal on Britain’s privatised railways and the union will renew the fight to return the entire network to public ownership – a policy supported by 70% of the British people.”