UK: South Western Railway has withdrawn its onboard catering services and ended its contract with provider Elior, putting around 130 jobs at risk.
‘It is with regret that, following consultation with our passengers and the Department for Transport, we have had to terminate our contract with commercial catering company, Elior, as Covid-19 has made on-train catering services unsustainable due to falling passenger numbers’, a SWR spokesperson told Rail Business UK on December 9. ‘We will work with the company to ensure our vacancy lists are made available to any Elior employees affected by this decision.’
The RMT trade union said staff on the SWR contract had been told they would be made redundant with effect from January 17. The union called on the DfT to intervene to reverse the operator’s decision, and to bring affected staff in-house.
‘South Western Railway’s decision to axe its on-board catering provision is short-sighted and will undoubtedly worsen the passenger experience’, said RMT General Secretary Mick Cash. ‘Axing this vital service is completely at odds with the need to restore passenger confidence in the railway.’