What The Papers Say: Commuters taken for a free ride

South West Trains had to roll with the punches last week. Under fire from all sides of the political divide, SWT played a straight bat in defending its move to new working practices by accepting voluntary redundancy requests from 70 drivers and then cancelling trains en masse.

South West Trains had to roll with the punches last week. Under

fire from all sides of the political divide, SWT played a straight bat

in defending its move to new working practices by accepting voluntary

redundancy requests from 70 drivers and then cancelling trains en

masse.



Interestingly the one organisation glaringly absent from the press

articles were the rail unions with whom, presumably, the original

package was negotiated.



Within the week, SWT commuters arrived at their stations to find they

were being offered a free day’s travel - a PR move that was accepted but

did little to assuage criticism. Commuter Nick Beard’s quote: ’It’s good

PR, but it doesn’t make up for bad management’ was widely reported.



More positively, one passenger said: ’Can you imagine the old British

Rail doing this?’. If the PR worked on SWT’s customers, there’s clearly

ground to be made up with its staff, one of whom branded his bosses as

’clueless’ (Guardian, 22 February).



Evaluation and analysis by Carma International.



Cuttings supplied by The Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers

Say’ can also be found at: http//www.carma.com/carma.



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