“It is vital to end the racket of privatisation and put the railways into public ownership as a matter of urgency.”Mick Lynch, RMT General Secretary
By the RMT Union
RMT has reacted angrily to the sale of Arriva rail company by German state railway to a firm registered in the Cayman Islands tax haven.
Deutsche Bahn which is owned by Germany and has run Arriva since 2010 has sold the company to I Squared Capital for 1.6bn euros. I Squared Capital is registered in the Cayman Islands tax-haven and recently had a bid for First Group rejected.
Arriva runs CrossCountry, Chiltern, Grand Central and London Overground rail services in the UK. Last year Arriva received dividends of £9.5 million from London Overground, reported profits of £8m at CrossCountry and £1.6m at Chiltern.
Arriva has also been beset by fat cat profiteering, with the top director making more than £1m last year.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “This sale of Arriva by German state railway to a tax haven registered company underscores what a perverse and corrupt system rail privatisation is in this country.
“Our members have not had a pay rise in over 3 years despite huge profits and dividends generated for shareholders.
“And now we have the prospect of these ill-gotten gains ending up in a tax haven where there is even less scrutiny and even more wealth to be extracted from our railways.
“The public through subsidies is helping to fund privatisation and potentially the closure of 1,000 ticket offices across the network, going against the best interests of the travelling public and railway workers.
“It is vital to end the racket of privatisation and put the railways into public ownership as a matter of urgency.”
- This was originally published by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) on October 19th, 2023.
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