The Alliance of Chambers of Commerce (ACES) recently launched a boycott and divestment campaign aimed at Southern Rail parent company Go Ahead, writing to major shareholders Ameriprise, Investec, JO Hambro, Standard Life and Premier to warn them of their association with this now toxic brand. Their campaign, led by Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce boss Christine Ewbank, takes to the street outside Eastbourne station on Monday morning. Please support them if you can!
We don’t normally expect our local Chambers of Commerce to take to the streets in protest – but, as every commuter on Southern Rail knows, these are hardly normal times. The ‘Great Train Robbers’ protest takes place this Monday 20th February at 6.45am outside the taxi rank of the train station (closest to the Enterprise Centre). If you live in Eastbourne, please stop by and support them; even if only for twenty minutes on the way to your morning train.
Unlike larger businesses, who may be able to command a private audience and quiet compensation arrangement with Southern Rail; thousands of small businesses have suffered just as much as commuters. ACES represents 4,000 employers and 15,000 employees across the region, and it is long past time their voices were heard.
The Chambers of Commerce Protest is non-politically affiliated and addresses all parties this Monday in an urgent call for reason and a fast resolution to the industrial dispute.
Statement from Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce:
We are calling for The Great Train Robbers:
- Chris Grayling MP (Secretary of State for Transport)
- Paul Maynard MP (Minister for Rail)
- Mick Cash (General Secretary, RMT)
- Mick Whelan (General Secretary, ASLEF)
- Charles Horton (Chief Executive Officer, GTR)
- David Brown (Chief Executive, Go-Ahead)
to work together NOW to bring a fast resolution to the Southern Rail dispute before more people lose their livelihoods.
Collectively, these agencies have robbed over £308,000,000 from the local economy, endangered jobs and our members businesses. We ask that you join us for the protest.
We do not take this action lightly.
As a Chamber we remain non-political. But part of our responsibility is to stand up on behalf of our members when our business interests are threatened. Already, we have seen lower footfall in our town centre and decreased attendance at our major tourism events and venues. We have heard first hand of the struggles our business community is having and the loss of jobs as a direct impact of the strikes and the poor performance of GTR.
We do not apportion blame to any one particular agency or individual – it is the collective failings of all parties in this joint enterprise. We cannot allow this dispute and poor service to continue indefinitely. It is well over a year since this disruption started – it must now end.