Wednesday, February 04, 2009
RMT Condems SWT Plans for another Major jobs Cull
Publication Date: February 4 2009 Operator is eating into fabric of railway and must be stopped, says union BRITAIN’S BIGGEST rail union today condemned South West Trains as it revealed plans to cut a further 180 jobs on top of the 480 it already intends to cut from its workforce of around 5,000 people. The latest proposals include cuts to more ticket-office staff as well as 100 revenue-protection staff – the people the company relies on to ensure that fares are paid. RMT called on the government to intervene to prevent the profiteers running the franchise “eating into the very fabric of the railway”, and gave SWT warning that it was heading towards a ballot for industrial action. “SWT’s attacks on its staff and passengers are eating into the very fabric of the railway they are supposed to be running, and they must be stopped,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today. “The government has said it will ride the recession by supporting public services and projects, and ministers cannot stand by and watch as a profiteering group that has increased dividends by 33 per cent destroys livelihoods and services. “The idea that the 660 staff they now want to sack are somehow superfluous is ridiculous and they know it. “Cutting ticket office, cleaning, platform, information and clerical staff is a direct attack on passenger service, and now, by cutting revenue protection staff, they are trying to cut off their nose to spite their face. That is the accounting of the madhouse, and they must be stopped. “We have already told SWT that if they do not assure us by February 10 that there will be no compulsory redundancies we will be in dispute, and the company seems to be heading towards a ballot for strike action. “I hope that SWT passengers will understand that in making a stand for our members’ jobs we are also defending the services that they have paid through the nose for, and will let the company know that decimating staff is not an option,” Bob Crow said. “South West Trains has shown itself to be incapable of running a railway for the benefit of its passengers and the economy, and it is time for the franchise back into the public sector,” Bob Crow said.