Bonanza Time For The Bosses!
Mark Seddon is the former United Nations Correspondent and New York Bureau Chief for Al-Jazeera English TV. He reported from eighteen countries during that time, including North Korea, China, Haiti, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has interviewed, amongst others, Ban Ki-Moon, Lech Walesa, Tony Blair, Hans Blix, Michael Foot, Mia Farrow, and George Clooney. In a journalistic career spanning over twenty years, he has been Editor of Tribune and an elected member of the UK Labour Party's National Executive Committee. He has written for most British newspapers and many magazines, including The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Times, The Spectator, New Statesman, Private Eye, British Journalism Review and Country Life Magazine. For a number of years he was a Diarist at the London Evening Standard, and has also reported for, amongst others, the BBC and Sky TV. He lives in Buckingham, England.
While rail passengers are being warned to expect fare increases of up to 40% - possibly even more - over the next four years it’s bonanza time in the boardrooms of Britain’s main private transport operators.
The “UK Transport Rich List” is topped by Keith Ludeman – boss of the Go-Ahead group – who saw his salary rise by an incredible 35% from £916,000 on the June 2009 figures to £1,240,000 in July this year. Ludeman is responsible for the Southern Trains franchise which recently announced it was axing toilets, as a cost cutting measure on the key inter-city route between Portsmouth and Brighton.
Hot on his heels are Brian Souter from Stagecoach on £762,000 and David Martin from Arriva on £743,635. Company profits show that the big five UK transport operators have posted combined dividends of more than £2 billion since privatisation.
Roughly translated, what was once a fully integrated, national rail network was handed over to the private sector in the 1990s. Or rather the assets were largely handed over, because the public were still expected to provide massive subsidies to the new rail owners. It was either that, or revert to the old privately owned network which had to be nationalised after the Second World War because it was bankrupt.
So the great British travelling public is now being forced to stump up for a reduction in those same subsidies, making travelling to work possibly even more expensive than any rewards received for work itself. To add insult to injury, the fat cats who run the industry will continue to stuff their pockets at the public expense.
Meanwhile, the same bosses are busy cutting costs and cutting staff.
Rarely are any of these facts laid before the long suffering commuters, who are invited by much of the media instead to bash the unions – and in particular the leader of the main rail union, the RMT, Bob Crow – when union members strike to save jobs and maintain services. And sadly, Britain is such an atomized and spiritually crushed society that all too many people have simply become resigned to the most grotesque two fingered salute that is being given to them by Government and industry bosses alike.
How quite unlike France..
UK TRANSPORT COMPANY“RICH LIST”
Railway Directors Remuneration
Highest Paid Director
David Martin £743,635 (31 Dec 2009)
Arriva Cross Country
199,000 (01 Mar 2009)
Arriva Trains Wales
194,000 (31 Dec 2009)
Moir Lockhead £643,000 (31 Mar 2010)
First Capital Connect
398,000 (31 Mar 2009)
First Great Western
190,000 (31 Mar 2008)
429,275 (31 Mar 2009).
Go-Ahead Group (65% of Govia)
Keith Ludeman £916,000 (27 Jun 2009)
£1240,000 (July 2010)
358,000 (28 Jun 2008)
National Express Group
Interim 6 months ended 30th June 08
Ray O’Toole £644,000 (31 Dec 2009)
166,852 (31 Dec 2008)
Interim 6 months ended 31st October 08
Brian Souter £762,000 (30 Apr 2010)
East Midlands Trains
South West Trains
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