Further strikes on South Western Railway

29 August 2019

29 August 2019

RMT Press Office:

South Western Railway set to receive at least £32m in strike bailout from taxpayer as Government to pay company even if they don’t run trains

On the eve of South Western guards taking four days of strike action to defend safety it has been revealed the company is set to receive at least a £32m strike bailout from the taxpayer for strike action taken to date, meaning they will be paid by the Government even when they have not run trains on strike days.

Members will be taking action as follows:

We instruct our SWR Guard, Commercial Guard and Driver members to not to book on for duty between: -
• 0001 hours Friday 30th August 2019 and 23.59 hours Monday 2nd September 2019

In response to Parliamentary questions the new Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps has refused to say what the final bill for taxpayers will be saying the matter is “subject to commercial confidentiality.”

But the latest report and accounts of South Western’s co-owner First Group, says that “progress has been made” as to the “level of strike amelioration recoverable from the DfT.” [Department for Transport].

RMT has calculated that if the forthcoming four days of action are included then the total strike bail out that South Western can expect to get to date is £32m, the equivalent of a 3.4 % annual fare cut for South Western passengers.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:

“Passengers will be outraged to know that South Western Railway will be paid by Ministers even when they don’t run trains on strike days.

“Despite repeated Ministerial cover-ups rail bosses are now openly bragging that they will be receiving a taxpayer funded strike bailout, which we estimate to be £32m to date or the equivalent of a 3.4% percent annual fare cut for South Western passengers.

“Thanks to the generosity of the government South Western Railway don’t lose a penny from strikes and therefore have little incentive to negotiate seriously.”

Ends.

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