22 July 2015
RMT Press Office
Southern catering staff sacked at four days notice as passenger services axed.
RAIL UNION RMT today slammed Southern/Thameslink Railways and their catering company Rail Gourmet for “treating low paid staff like dirt” as it was confirmed that the contract will be axed on Saturday at just four days notice with staff dumped on the stones in the most disgraceful and brutal fashion.
Southern have said that the sudden termination of the catering contract is a part of the transfer into the new, expanded Thameslink franchise as they intend to run no more trollies on their trains even though they are operating services in excess of two hours from the south coast to London and on a number of other routes. Around 70 staff are involved.
The existing Southern franchise ends 26th and the new merged Thameslink/Southern/Great Northern franchise starts up over the weekend ready for Monday morning with all of the RMT Rail Gourmet members sacked on 25th. In a further ludicrous twist Rail Gourmet have offered consultation on the dismissals on the 27th – two days after the staff have actually been sacked.
It has already been made clear to the union that there are no other jobs for these workers except maybe a handful at the London depot on inferior terms and conditions.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“This disgraceful move is an attack on both our low paid members and the services that they provide to the travelling public and we are calling for it to be halted immediately before the staff are thrown out of their jobs.
“This brutal assault is being driven through with just a few days notice and makes a mockery of consultation processes and the very basic duty of care to employees. The fact that is all bound up in the franchising process speaks volumes about how rail privatisation impacts on staff and passengers alike in the drive for profits.
“RMT is taking further advice and will do everything in our power to protect our members.”