Rail Union RMT have slammed proposals from East Coast that would result in the slashing of on-train catering services along the prestige inter-city route, leaving only four trains a day on the national rail network, excluding the Scottish sleeper services, with a dedicated restaurant car when British Rail provided 249.
The union has warned that the East Coast cuts plans, code-named EUREKA, will put dozens of restaurant and chef jobs at risk and are seen by RMT as a blatant exercise in slashing quality of service to maximise profitability in advance of re-privatisation.
RMT is seeking an urgent meeting with the company and is mobilising a political campaign in an all-out effort to slam the brakes on the cuts plans.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“This mad dash to axe East Coast’s catering facilities from May in the run up to re-privatisation shows that quality of service counts for nothing in the drive to fatten up profitability before the route is auctioned off again in the wake of two previous failures on this prestige service.
“Those responsible for pushing forward with this planned carve up should be ashamed of themselves and it underscores RMT’s demand that this route be retained as a genuine public service and not merely a staging post before it is offered up as a cash-cow to the next bunch of opportunists and chancers in the private sector queue.
“RMT will fight these plans politically, publicly and industrially and we will not stand by while passengers are fleeced for top-dollar fares in return for a third-rate quality of service and while our members jobs are left in the balance.”