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Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by 142094, 31 Oct 2011.
This article suggests that G4S, who do some work for various TOCs scuh as Northern, could buy ISS.
Personally in my experience of G4S (mainly off the railway) I think the cleaning industry is far more suited to them.
I wonder if ISS could give Northern's G4S staff a deep clean?
In all fairness everyone slates the G4S lads, however the grief they put up with, and the problems they prevent aren't seen by many people. Their boss on the other hand really is a class A plonker.
At first I thought G4S were buying an International Space Station to spy on people with thousands of CCTV cameras.
They would still make a complete mess of that as well
Something I discovered recently is that G4S now operate airport security at two major European airports.
The British rail business of G4S is not the "be-all and "end-all" of the total G4S global marketing structure that many forum members connect it with. You would be surprised to find out how diverse their divisions are. They even have a division that employs former Gurkha soldiers in a close-protection division that operate in many trouble-spots of the world and in the matter of embassy protection, in which some of these men have died. I would not imagine a rebuke to such men about their professionalism would be very well received.
Maybe not Paul my friend but as someone who works close to alot of these so called barrier staff, some are very good lads and pretty knowledgable, however the majority are poorly paid, poorly trained people with absolutely zero people skills.
Indeed. As a security company I'm sure they're good, but as a gateline crew they are awful, truly awful.
That's right, they transport prisoners too!
They have many divisions and their specialist skill is obviously security, which they seem to be completely competent at.
However, how good they are at training and supervising gateline staff (with the need to have a clear grasp of the ticketing system) under contract to Northern is highly debatable. I think there is a strong opinion that it would be preferable if Northern employed gateline and RPI staff directly, as opposed to contracting it out.
I agree - I wouldn't want the hassle of dealing with all that without getting decent money (though I presume that G4S staff at barriers are on (low) "security" wages rather than (higher) "railway" wages (?)
Then again, not a lot of people appreciate what Serco do elsewhere in the country - prisons/ asylum camps/ electronic tagging of offenders/ military support/ IT/ leisure centre management...
These days its about managing things, whether those things are trains/ prisoners...
Such is the modern diversified world
weren't they in line (don't know if they submitted a tender or not) to run one of these private prisons?
They run Winson Green prison in Birmingham
It might be interesting for forum members to see what G4S actually do world-wide by accessing their corporate website.
I am sure many on here are well aware of that, but it is their dealings as gateline staff that annoy many of us.
The higher cost of employing people with the correct training/knowledge would surely be offset by the amount of extra revenue they'd catch that otherwise walked away.
Yes, but large firms like G4S quite often perform to a different standard in the various branches of their business, under the supervision of a different set of management, perhaps with a different set of values and strategies. No doubt G4S excel in some of their divisions, but whether or not that standard of excellence is delivered in their ticket inspection and gateline division is open to debate.
Virgin Group, as a large conglomerate, operate Virgin Trains in a very different way to Virgin Atlantic Airways. Obviously, the brand has a reputation to maintain, but I feel it does not detract from the issue here.
and it's some of their dealings in the security industry that annoy some of us.
Most of them actually get to their destination without escaping too.
The thing I hate about some of these companies, the likes of Capita, Serco, Veolia, G4S or whatever (but I'm not talking necessarily talking about any one of them here), is the fact that they can bid for almost any contract (not always within their current expertise) and promise the world - then outsource the work, or use existing staff (even though they've put in the tender that they'll allocate nnn staff to the contract - knowing that it can't easily be checked).
They seem to work on the basis that they can bid first and then work out how to do the job after. They've got the power to bid lower, when other companies have the actual knowledge and expertise in that field - but don't stand a chance of winning.
By looking at their websites, or other sources (including Wikipedia) you can see how big these companies have grown in a relatively short space of time.
Well, just look at what happened with MITE for that, came out of nowhere, outbid everyone else on contracts, put more managers and less staff in and payed all the staff less.
With regard to existing staff, are not any company bound by the TUPE regulations to ensure that existing staff are given the first choice to be employed on any new change of employer takeover of contract?
It depends on what the contract is. If, say, a council is outsourcing maintenance to another company - then it's a new deal and the new company will provide staff/contractors.
If they're simply getting another company to run the existing services, most staff (usually not management) are covered by TUPE - but we all know that there are many tricks to getting people to leave, like changing contracts and requiring people accept them (or leave), or relocating and effectively forcing people to leave.
As said above, what can happen for contracts where whoever runs things will do so with contractors, not full time members of staff, is hire the same people that worked for another company - but for less money. And then get these people to work for multiple contracts, even if the contract stipulates that there must be xx number of people allocated to a job. How does anyone easily check?
Yup pretty much about sums it up and that's barely even half of it (As I work for them...)
BBC are reporting that G4S have pulled out after shareholder opposition, and that the acquisition will no longer go ahead.
Is anyone on this forum really surprised by this decision by G4S not to proceed, considering the following:-
1)...International Shareholder Services who act for many classes of shareholders told their members that they would not be advising acceptance of this matter.
2)...Two of the largest financial bodies such as the fund managers Artemis & Schroders and Parvus Asset Management were against these proposals.
3)...The sudden fall in the share price of G4S since the announcement of the proposed acquisition of ISS that would be funded by a £2 billion issue of new shares to be issued through a rights issue, notwithstanding the deal would have meant the transfer of ISS debt liabilities.
I only know from what happened with a cleaning contract in a North West airport, one of the other fun things MITIE did was scrap all the inital equipment, lease lods of brand new stuff, and then return it after their 6 month contract evaluation, leaving one ride on floor cleaner per terminal rather than four that they started with.
Then they re-contracted all the staff down to minimum wage (from about £7.80/hour) replaced all the managment, lost all of their additional internal contracts (thanks to being arsey abou them) and are now loosing money on it again because they can't meet quality standards, but can't be sacked from it.
Fun thing is, Inital still have managment on site because they do aircraft cleaning, as does ISS, Dawsons, and OCS....
Would you think that Northern Rail as part of their contract stipulation have to ensure that adherence to the terms of the contract are being met by G4S. If so many of our forum members and of the other rail staff who also see the shortcomings of the training and supervision, I am sure that Northern Rail are also aware of this situation. Is there any clause in the Northern Rail contract with G4S that can lead to financial penalties for non-adherence and in extreme cases of non-adherence, for the termination of the contract itself?
The good news is that G4S have now withdrawn from the ISS situation.
There is now a link and write up for anyone interested.
Personnally I would like to see back end to both these companies & others being sub contracted to working on railways.
TOC's would not be making 182 millions in profit if it were bound by DfT to employ staff directly. Maybe the192k per annum could be reallocated for 2012 budget, it would go along way to paying wages of gateline staff & directly employed cleaning staff.