Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bring all Tube contracts back in-house!

THOUSANDS of Londoners struggled to get to work last Monday as signal failures on the London Underground Central Line led to very few trains running. This was put down to failures by the maintenance company Metronet, which makes £1 million a week from its 30-year contract. It was also blamed for serious delays on the Circle and District lines.
The RMT transport union called again for all Tube infrastructure work to be brought back in-house “before the privateer contractors bring the entire system grinding to a halt”.
As the capital was plunged into chaos by engineering overruns and infrastructure failure on three of London’s essential Tube arteries, RMT renewed its call for the part-privatisation of the network to be scrapped.
“Privatisation of Tube infrastructure has demonstrably failed, failed and failed again,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today.
“Only last week the PPP Arbiter issued a damning report on Metronet’s failure to deliver, and this morning Londoners have woken up to find huge chunks of the Underground network simply not working.
“Tube infrastructure work needs to be carried out by an organisation whose sole aim is providing a service, not by privateers whose main aim is to drain as much profit as possible out of the system.
“We have said time and time again that the PPP is a complex device designed to convert public money into guaranteed, risk-free profits.
“Today should also serve as a warning that plans to allow privateers to get their hands on the operations of the East London Line should also be scrapped.
“How many more times does this have to happen before the government bows to the inevitable and allows the miserable PPP to be buried once and for all?” Bob Crow said.