National Express East Anglia strike rock solid as RMT renews calls for company to be stripped of franchises

RAIL UNION RMT confirmed that today’s strike action on National Express East Anglia has been solidly supported across the franchise with the vast majority of services at a complete standstill and with managers running only a few token, ghost trains as a publicity stunt.

RMT members have shown their all-out determination to secure a fair deal on pay and working conditions from a company which has sucked in billions in public subsidies in the past ten years.

The first of eight days of planned strike action on National Express East Anglia coincides with publication of the company’s interim results. Despite bullish statements earlier this month in the wake of their spectacular collapse on the East Coast route, Nat Ex have today resorted to pleading poverty, reporting a loss of over £30 million in the first six months of the year.

The company, which has been subject to a barrage of takeover speculation, are begging to hold on to their East Anglia and C2C franchises despite clear cross-default clauses which mean that their impending default on the East Coast should see them stripped of their other contracts, a position supported by the Transport Select Committee earlier this week.

Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, said today:

"This strike has been caused by greedy National Express bosses who have soaked up £2.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies in the past 10 years and who have milked every penny out of this franchise while offering their staff peanuts this year.

“Despite making half a billion in profits out of their workforce and the travelling public over the past ten years, today National Express have resorted to pleading poverty. RMT wants this company off the tracks as soon as possible with all of their franchises returned to public ownership.

“Today on the picket lines I heard that managers were spreading rumours that there are fresh talks on Monday. That’s the first that RMT had heard of it. We are available for negotiations at any time but we’ve had no formal approach from the company and we are waiting to hear from them in light of today’s clear demonstration of workplace anger.”

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