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    Twitter's Hilarious Response To #SouthernBackOnTrack PR Campaign

    Southern Rail: they just keep digging….

    Southern Rail's PR campaign this morning attempts to turn passengers against staff – but passengers aren't falling for Southern's divide and rule tactics.

    The campaign started with a double page ad in Metro and this tweet

    Time to get back on track. Tweet @RMTunion & tell them how rail strikes make you feel.…

    Passengers quickly started hitting back against Southern's PR campaign...

    @SouthernRailUK u can get #SouthernBackOnTrack by focusing on providing reliable trains, having a resilient service

    The hashtag seems to have backfired quite spectacularly.

    There's no strike today. What's the reason for all this? #SouthernBackOnTrack @SouthernRailUK @Southern_Trains…

    And now, a pictorial representation of @SouthernRailUK's #SouthernBackOnTrack and it's success so far. via @giphy

    Poor performance is down to poor management of the franchise, not its hard working staff.

    .@SouthernRailUK Full support to @RMTunion, ta for asking. You're not getting rid of James the conductor, are you?

    Spare a thought for Southern's social media team

    .@SouthernRailUK social media team react to the backlash they started. #southernbackontrack

    .@SouthernRailUK comms team checking their mentions this morning #SouthernBackOnTrack @RMTunion

    And let's not forget Southern's huge profits

    #SouthernBackOnTrack to rake in more massive profits ( Is this what you had in mind,…

    In 2014-15, Southern received £42m net in taxpayers subsidies (what a waste!) and paid out £22m in shareholder dividends – money that should have been reinvested in our services. And to add insult to injury, following the latest service failures, the government ponied up an extra £20m of taxpayer subsidy this year to invest in helping them fix the problems – just one day before Southern's parent company Go-Ahead posted a 27% increase in profits – up to £99.8m.

    The RMT union's Mick Cash, said: "Just a fraction of these profits would be enough to keep the guards on Southern trains, keep the passengers safe and resolve the industrial dispute between RMT and the company. It is shameful that they have opted to hoard cash instead of protecting the travelling public."

    Southern wants to remove guards from trains and replace some with 'on-board supervisors', and extend driver only operated trains. On-board supervisors won't have the same level of safety training as a guards and our railways are busier now than they ever have been, so we need properly trained staff. Despite what Southern say, driver only operated trains aren't 100% safe – according to the Rail Safety Standards Board, "…..there may be changes to the risk profile, in terms of the likelihood of events occurring, or the severity of their consequences".

    Whilst Southern have handled this safety dispute characteristically badly (ScotRail managed to find a safe solution to the same problem recently), it's far from the only thing they've failed at Southern Rail should be stripped of the franchise if we want to get back on track.

    Or better still the line should be returned to public ownership. East Coast was taken into public ownership after two private train companies failed to deliver. Services and satisfaction levels rose, so we know it's possible. The government need to break with the dogma of private franchising, throwing taxpayers' money at private companies who are pretty much guaranteed huge profits even if they fail to deliver.

    One final thought ...

    Southern's marketing staff might lose their jobs over the #SouthernBackOnTrack fiasco. Should have joined a union; can I suggest @RMTunion