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CONNEX - MORE THAN JUST A STANDING JOKE
In Britain the word 'Connex' has become synonomous with inefficiency, bad service and shoddiness. It has increasingly become the butt of jokes. For example, when a newspaper columnist looked at the possibility of introducing private sector nuclear power plants, the immediate reaction was -
"YIKES - LET'S HOPE CONNEX DOESN'T MAKE A BID"
Unfortunately, this thought might not be so far fetched as one of the sister companies of Connex is actually involved in the power industry.
UNFAIR TO WHELK STALL HOLDERS
After the famous confrontation between a group of angry passengers and Connex chief Olivier Brousse at Victoria station, where he was accused of being 'unfit to run a whelk stall,' a newspaper columnist immediately came to the defence of whelk stall holders. 'If I had a whelk stall I'd complain,' wrote Sue Carroll. 'It probably takes a lot of skill to run a whelk stall.'

Nothing wrong with having a laugh, but Connex customers don't usually find much to laugh about. For Connex employees the situation can be particularly grim. Workers who dare criticize or complain are hit hardest. Intimidation and threats have left some Connex staff close to physical and nervous breakdowns.
Welcome to unofficial CSE News

Connex is well known to its customers for its late trains, cancelled trains, overcrowded trains, dirty trains, dirty toilets, poor station maintenance, lack of information, lame excuses etc. etc. In fact most people rarely take Connex seriously anymore. But there is another side to Connex that is slowly emerging - a company that is in such crisis that it seems to be tearing itself apart with the resulting atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Employees have become afraid to speak out.

But now the Holden Verses Connex South Eastern Industrial Tribunal has been able to give a thorough insight into the workings of Connex. The documents submitted to the Tribunal are in the public domain. All the facts can be made public. The various statements and submissions have shown that Connex is a company where -

  • Health and safety regulations were regularly broken.
  • Employment laws were broken.
  • Employees were injured because of company negligence.
  • Passengers were injured because of company negligence.
  • Intimidation and threats by managers were widespread.
  • Managers were used to getting their way through deceit and dishonesty.
  • Managers were prepared to ignore their own disciplinary procedures to get the result they wanted.
  • Managers were prepared to ignore the company's own sickness guidelines so as to threaten their intended victim.
  • Managers doctored health and safety reports to cover up the overall deterioration in safety standards.
  • Those drivers trying to improve health and safety conditions were victimized either into submission, into resigning or as a prelude to dismissal.
  • Managers had no compunction about producing secret, confidential, inaccurate reports concerning a representative as part of the preparation for his dismissal.

    And the list goes on.......

    DOES THIS SOUND EXTREME?

    Well perhaps it does. But all this actually took place. The perpetrator is a company owned by the large European conglomerate Veolia. The truth came out during a 10 day Tribunal in November 2001. With about 1400 pages of documents, 9 witnesses, this case was as thorough as can be.

    For those who believe that industrial relations in British industry is only ever a case of - employers verses unions, then this case shows that nothing is ever as simple as that. In fact the role of union officials is revealed in trying to cover up breaches of health and safety legislation, steamroller unsafe conditions, and silence Health and Safety representatives on behalf of the employer.

    This site is still not finished, but all the relevant documents will be online as soon as possible.


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