Tuesday, March 10, 2009


NEWS RELEASE March 10, 2009 SWT ‘dishonesty’ exposed as true scale of jobs attack emerges RMT urges YES vote to strike action as planned jobs cull nears 760 SOUTH WEST Trains has attempted to conceal the true extent of its attack on jobs, Britain’s biggest rail union says today after it emerged that the company is intent on axing up to 760 jobs – around 15 per cent of its workforce. News that the true target was higher still than the 660 already announced came when the company finally let slip to RMT reps that it intends to axe nearly 200 revenue-protection staff – double the number previously admitted. Added to ticket-office, cleaning, platform, revenue-protection, information and clerical jobs already known to be under threat, SWT now has 760 jobs in its sights. The company’s excuse for failing to come clean on the true total – that 100 axed jobs would be replaced by new gateline staff on less than half the pay – was dismissed by the union today as “dishonest, disingenuous and shabby”. The union’s almost 2,000 members at SWT have already begun a strike ballot over the highly profitable company’s refusal to guarantee that there will be no compulsory redundancies. “It was already a disgrace that a company handing tens of billions in dividends to fat-cat shareholders has the brass neck to threaten the jobs of the people who actually deliver the service,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today. “But to try to conceal the full extent of their planned cuts is dishonest, disingenuous and downright shabby – not least when the company has been making record profits and last year handed its shareholders a 33 per cent dividend increase. “The company is saying that nearly 200 revenue protection staff – the very people who ensure that SWT collects its inflated fares – are to go, but that half of them can have jobs if they are prepared to accept a pay cut of more than 50 per cent. “RMT is urging members to vote for strike action to show Stagecoach that they will not allow their jobs to be sacrificed simply to protect fat profits. “As long as a single penny is being paid out to Stagecoach shareholders it has no right to cut so much as one post, and we hope that passengers will support our campaign to save the jobs of the people who provide their services. “The government has said it will ride out the recession by investing in public projects, but if it allows Stagecoach to wield the axe it will be subsidising redundancies,” Bob Crow said. For further information please contact Derek Kotz on 020 7529 8803 07939 595 092 or RMT regional organiser Peter Gale on 07946 386 762

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