6 December 2017
RMT Press Office:
Stagecoach profits jump 8% as they turn the screw on East Coast rail staff
Transport group Stagecoach has reported an eight per cent surge in statutory first-half profits in the same week that rail union RMT begins balloting for industrial action for a fair deal on pay and conditions on the East Coast service which the company runs jointly with the wealthy Virgin outfit.
Operating profits at Stagecoach have risen to £114 million.
Last week the government launched a taxpayer-funded bail-out of Stagecoach on the East Coast rail franchise it runs in partnership with Virgin Trains, allowing the operators to exit the franchise three years early in 2020. The announcement lifted Stagecoach shares 13 per cent and allows them to escape the bulk of the £2 billion payments due in the final four years of the contract.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The announcement of a massive surge in profits at Stagecoach today blows apart claims yesterday from the rail industry bosses club, the Rail Delivery Group, that their members aren’t making fat profits off the back of the workforce and the fare-paying public. They are filling their boots like it’s going out of fashion and they now have the benefits of a £2 billion taxpayer-funded bail-out on the East Coast to keep them warm over Christmas.
“With the boardrooms awash with cash there is no excuse for Stagecoach and Virgin to hammer down on their East Coast staff with an imposed pay and conditions deal. RMT is balloting for action from this Friday and we now expect the company to take urgent action to address the issues at the heart of the current dispute.”