Transpennine Express Conductors strike again on Sunday for pay justice

Transpennine Express Conductors strike again on Sunday for pay justice

4 March 2022

RMT Press Office

Transpennine Express Conductors strike again on Sunday for pay justice, FirstGroup are back to profiteering as usual with plans for a £63 million dividend bonanza

Ahead of a fourth day of strike action on Sunday by Transpennine Express conductors who are battling against attacks on pay and enhancements which are eating away the value of their wages, rail union  RMT has revealed that TPE’s owners have taken out dividends worth £30 million from their rail empire and are awaiting rhe Secretary of State’s permission to pay out a further £33 million.


Transpennine Express and Avanti West Coast are on National Rail Contracts which enable them to make dividend payments up to the value of 100% of their profits, subject to having their performance assessed by the Secretary of State. FirstGroup’s latest trading update notes that the DfT has confirmed that so far, they are in line to meet their targets, raising the prospect of a whopping dividend payment for TPE in the near future.


RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said;


“If you want to see an example of gross injustice, compare the treatment of essential keyworkers on the railways with the frankly revolting profiteering from the owners of Transpennine Express. Our members kept the railways running through the pandemic and have watched their wages eaten away by inflation.


“Managers intone piously about disruption to passengers, but their companies are leeching millions out of our railways with the connivance of a callous government. Transpennine Express could show that they are something more than parasites by spending less time trying to line up their dividend payments and starting to fund pay justice for hard working staff.”




Notes to editors:


  1. Company profits for First Group franchises:



Profit before tax(£m)

Dividends (£m)

Greater Western



Avanti West Coast



South Western



Transpennine Express






Source: Companies House accounts for First Greater Western, First-Trenitalia West Coast, First MTR South Western and Transpennine Express.


  1. Page 13 of FirstGreater Western’s accounts reveal that the company is waiting on the Secretary of State’s approval for its planned £33 million final dividend.


  1. Last year, FirstGroup’s CEO’s total remuneration package was £840,000 in salaries, benefits, pension and bonuses last year. firstgroup-ara-2021.pdf (


  1. First Group’s February trading update notes that “Our management fee-based rail operations are delivering performance metrics in line with our expectations overall for the second half of FY22. The DfT has confirmed that Avanti and GWR's performance measures were slightly above target for the first six months of FY22, with TPE and SWR's tracking in line with the annual targets under their respective National Rail Contracts 220225 FGP trading update.pdf (

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Tagged with: TransPennine, Conductors, Strike