Network Rail – pay as you fail!

26 June 2009

ASLEF general secretary Keith Norman reacted angrily to news that senior Network Rail bosses are to be paid bonuses of over £1.2 million. Chief executive Ian Coucher pockets an ‘incentive payment’ of over £150,000 while Directors Peter Henderson and Ron Henderson each pick up more than £300,000.


Mr Coucher trousers his money on the basis of Network Rail’s performance over the last three years.


‘The world’s gone mad,’ declared ASLEF general secretary Keith Norman. ‘It was only last month that Network Rail’s performance – especially over the West Coast main line - was being severely criticised by the rail regulator.


‘If any of our members’ performance sank to these levels, they’d be on a discipline – not a gravy train.’


The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) had called the West Coast line’s recent performance as ‘volatile, and the problems are increasing’, despite last December’s £9bn upgrade project. It also pointed out that 20% of London-Glasgow trains ran late.


By way of an encore, Network Rail last year reduced its profits and increased its levels of debt. Pre-tax profit fell to £1.52bn from £1.59bn and debt rose from £19.7bn to £22.3bn.


‘These bonuses are an affront at a time that rail workers are facing threats of redundancy,’ Keith Norman added.

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