The Workers Party of Britain denounces South Western Railway’s plan to stop its on-board catering provision, making more than 130 workers redundant and depriving the traveling public of a valued service.
This act of vandalism is quite unnecessary and driven entirely by greed, as is recognised by the thousands of passengers who signed an online petition protesting against the move.
SWR cannot plead poverty, since its operations are being fully funded by public money under the emergency recovery measures agreement (ERMA), and the jobs could have been furloughed at least until April.
Indeed, rail union RMT has calculated that, under the terms of ERMA, SWR bosses could skim over £24 million in ‘management fees’, a handy slush fund which can be used to swell profits and deliver fat dividends. They have carte blanche to rinse the public purse whilst worsening the public service.
The Workers Party of Britain supports the RMT’s campaign to save the SWR catering workers from redundancy and keep on-board catering in operation.
In the longer term, only full renationalisation of the railways can bring back a decent, comprehensive and reasonably-priced rail service for passengers while abolishing the scandal of huge public subsidies for private profits.