Ed Davey has attacked trade unions and their hard-working members- who are fighting to keep the public safe and maintain job security for employees- by lumping them in with the bosses of a train operating company that puts profits before passengers.
Rail workers are fighting to keep the guards on the train. Guards help ensure passenger safety, and regularly assist disabled passengers when assistance from the platform fails to arrive.
While Kingston and Surbiton commuters may face some disruption over December with proposed strike action, the impact of further cuts to services and safety measures on rail transport will be felt more harshly and for much, much longer.
As a local MP, Ed Davey should support the workers, who will be giving up their pay should the strikes take place, and look at the real cause of the ongoing dispute.
First Group, who are the majority shareholder for South Western Railway, have most of their operations in bus companies in North America. Their own 2018 annual report states that operating profits have decreased, but are offset by good performance in UK divisions. In short, UK commuters are propping up failing transport in North America, and UK workers jobs are at risk, as the franchise squeezes as much as it can. The report goes onto say First Group Rail (UK) made £58m profit which could have been used to reinvest in the railway or keep fares down rather than subsidise poor financial performance in North America.
The Liberal Democrats have launched a petition calling for SWR and RMT to get back round the table to negotiate. This demand isn’t good enough. This dispute has been ongoing and the train operator is not listening. They don’t care about commuters or their workers.
Ed Davey is still supporting a Tory Government and big business which backs profiteering over our long suffering commuters.
Ed Davey needs to back Labour’s plans to not renew the railway franchises and instead bring them back in house and run them for the people not profit.
Kingston and Surbiton Constituency Labour Party is proud to stand with the brave railway workers, fighting in all our interests.