by Tim Lezard The RMT has slammed the government’s decision to hand the East Coast mainline franchise to a joint venture between Stagecoach and Virgin. The line has been publicly-run since 2009 and has returned more than a billion pounds to the governm …

East Coast trainby Tim Lezard

The RMT has slammed the government’s decision to hand the East Coast mainline franchise to a joint venture between Stagecoach and Virgin.

The line has been publicly-run since 2009 and has returned more than a billion pounds to the government.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “It is a national disgrace and an act of utter betrayal that the government has confirmed that it is bulldozing ahead with the re-privatisation of the East Coast Main Line despite all the figures showing that the current public sector operator is handing over a billion pounds back to the British people while delivering huge improvements in service and customer satisfaction.

“It is simply ludicrous to even contemplate re-privatisation when not only have there been two previous private sector failures on the East Coast route but when the public-sector rescue operation has been such a stunning success. This is pure industrial vandalism by a rotten government hell-bent on wrecking successful public services in the name of private greed.

“While domestic public ownership puts money back into the coffers that can be reinvested in our railways the private operators suck out colossal sums in subsidies and profits – that’s what privatisation means.

“The decision to hand this profitable and successful public rail operation back to the vultures from Virgin/Stagecoach is based purely on hard-right political ideology and RMT is committed to continuing the fight to block this betrayal right up to polling day and beyond.”‎


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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