RMT union demands Southern executives' sickness records amid staff dispute
A rail union is demanding to see the personal sickness, pay and perks records of senior bosses on Southern Rail as a bitter dispute over staffing worsened.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union accused the train operator of "coming within an inch" of releasing the personal medical records of its frontline staff as part of their justification for a series of cancellations.
Southern, owned by Govia Thameslink Railway, said on Wednesday that train conductors have called in sick more than 1,000 times in a month, leading to cancellation of services.
The union said the figures were "pure fiction" that bear no relation to what workers were reporting on the ground.
The union claimed GTR is deliberately under-staffing services so it can cancel them at the last minute and try to blame the workforce.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "In my 35 years in the trade union movement I have never before come across a train company that has such a raw and vicious hatred of its frontline workforce.
"These top bosses at French-owned GTR should release their own personal sickness, pay and perks records so that the public can judge their performance in the glare of publicity rather than these jokers taking pot shots at their safety-critical workforce anonymously from the shadows.
"Anyone who uses Southern/GTR services knows that daily cancellations were a way of life long before the current dispute.
"The company have now resorted to running services deliberately short staffed so that they can knock lumps out of the workforce when they are inevitably pulled. They are a disgrace and they have chosen to go to war with their staff and passengers instead of getting on with running a safe and reliable railway."
The union is in dispute with Southern over the role of conductors which has led to strikes.