Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said;
“The axing of nearly 350 trains a day by GTR is a crisis measure designed to rig their appalling performance figures. The fewer trains you run, the fewer will be delayed and the better your headline performance statistics will look. That is a fix of epic proportions and the public will not be fooled by this chicanery.
“The new timetable also means that the vast reduction in services, approved by the Government, will leave remaining trains dangerously overcrowded and it will be our members at the sharp end left to manage the safety of the passengers while the Minister and her GTR colleagues are tucked away in their plush offices.
“It is outrageous for the minister to claim that front line Southern rail staff are not on the side of the passengers. Unlike Ms Perry, her officials and the GTR bosses it is our members out there at the sharp end this morning trying to deliver a service against a background of gross managerial incompetence and rank profiteering. The disgraceful slurs, abuse and lies being heaped on our members by the company and their cheerleaders in Government have to stop.
“It is shameful that supposedly impartial BBC outlets, including the flagship Today programme, have chosen to peddle the company line this morning about bogus unofficial action and sickness when the core problem is down to systemic mismanagement by GTR and a failure to recruit enough guards and drivers to fill rosters and diagrams.
“Despite the timetable fix this remains a franchise in terminal meltdown and RMT will continue to fight for safety-critical jobs, safe services and public ownership and control.”