Southern Rail return to a full service today after months of disruption, what has changed? Well, the RMT workers are still refusing to work overtime, which is the excuse previously given by Southern Rail for the appalling service blighting commuters and travelers, so just what has changed?
Presumably the government have been feeling the heat from the Home Counties as city workers have seen steam emanating from their collars and they have not been directing their anger at rail workers. Today’s return to normal service simply underlines what station employees have been telling travelers for weeks now, the scale of the disruption was not being caused by the industrial action but being inflicted on travelers by Southern Rail.
But let’s not overlook the fact that Southern were trying to excuse the disruption by blaming RMT workers for refusing to do overtime. If your service is so reliant on workers to do overtime then you need to hire more workers but the fact that Southern can return to a normal service today despite RMT workers still refusing to do overtime clearly demonstrates that the scale of the disruption was of Southern’s making.
So what has REALLY changed?
Despite the pathetic attempts to use our wonderful polling industry to frame public opinion, travelers do not blame rail workers for the misery. The government gave Southern a contract which could exploit such disruption as we have seen on the railways to provide an excuse to attack worker’s rights but the public have been either amazingly resolute or simply informed through the mess, depending on whether you thought travelers would be quick to buy the Tory lie or whether you gave credit for those traveling to not so easily have the wool pulled over their eyes. Travelers were getting increasingly angry and the government were failing to misdirect that anger towards the Unions.
Southern Rail created disruption for travelers that has caused misery for months, has earned Southern increased profits during this period, and the Tory government has attempted to exploit the misery to attack worker’s rights and create a false ‘battle’ between the Unions and the public. A lot of people in Tory seats will have been put through the grinder over these past months, pawns to the Tories arrogant contempt of those they purportedly represent. It is doubtful the media will portray things quite that way, I’m sure the Tories are the victims here.