RAIL UNION RMT today slammed Stagecoach, owners of the South West Trains franchise, for a new round of staffing costs that will leave ticket office closed at evenings and weekends at 24 station across Surrey, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset.
RMT has warned that the cost cutting plans being bulldozed through on South West Trains will lead to a massive deterioration in customer service and will seriously increase the risk of assaults at stations at evening and weekends. Last year Stagecoach announced pre-tax profits of £170 million and confirmed that they would be axing jobs and making other cuts in a bid to maximise the returns to their shareholders regardless of the impact on services and passenger safety.
Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary, said:
“There is no doubt that Stagecoach on South West Trains are itching to move to un-staffed stations with people replaced by machines because they see that as the way of pumping up their multi-million pound profits regardless of the impact on public safety, customer service and their own hardworking staff.
“This is rail franchising in action – profits are all that matters and they see staff and passengers as pawns in a giant game of Who Wants to Be A Multi-Millionaire.
“The threat of attacks at un-staffed stations is well documented and the Government should be stepping in and taking action against these train operators who are prepared to leave the public dangerously exposed in the dash to line their own pockets.”