ASLEF condemns government re-privatisation decision

30 June 2005

ASLEF today condemned the government decision to re-privatise South East Trains.

ASLEF acting general secretary Keith Norman said ‘Train drivers share with passengers a deep sense of disappointment that the government is to hand SE Trains back to private owners.

‘We now face an unseemly scramble to turn the integrated Kent Franchise into a money-making machine for transnational companies whose bottom line is profit.

‘When returned to public ownership after the last private sector flop, South East Trains showed marked improvements in punctuality and service.

‘More public money is to be poured into the service and the travelling public and the public purse should be the beneficiaries.

‘The price of this misplaced loyalty to transnational capital will not be appreciated by electors in this critical commuter territory who know first hand the benefits of renewed public ownership of rail.’

 

Background

South Eastern Trains have run trains in Kent and part of East Sussex and on routes into London from those areas since Connex lost its franchise. 

SE England Labour MPs and all the rail unions want SE Trains to remain in public hands. 100 Labour MPs called for the franchising process to be halted and for South Eastern to remain state-owned as "a model of good practice". 

Rail unions TSSA and ASLEF backed successful motions to Labour"s policy making bodies that established Labour policy in favour of rail public ownership.

Recent punctuality performance figures show that South Eastern has outperformed its nearest rivals, Southern and South West Trains while passenger complaints have fallen from 23,800 in the last year Connex was in charge to 16,700 in the past 12 months

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