May 28th 2012Unions have claimed that ‘over 20,000 jobs on the UK's railways could be lost' as a result of the government's reforms to the rail industry.
As part of its plans for the future of the rail industry, the government is asking train operating companies and Network Rail to outline how they will make cost reductions in line with the recommendations of the Rail Value for Money review led by Sir Roy McNulty.
More than a quarter of these savings - £260m a year - ‘will come through staffing cuts', the unions launching the Action for Rail campaign said.
The unions said that according to the McNulty Review this could ‘lead to around 20,800 job losses', including rail guards, staff in ticket offices and on station platforms, catering staff and workers in maintenance and signalling.
Surveys ‘consistently suggest that a lack of staffing is one of the key concerns of rail passengers', and more than 10,000 commuters and train users have so far registered their opposition to staff cuts in response to union campaigns.
The McNulty Review calls for the closure of 750 Category E (or small-staffed) station booking offices around the UK.
Leaked Department for Transport emails ‘indicate that agreement has already been reached with one train operator, London Midland, to completely close or severely reduce opening hours at ticket offices at 86 of its 90 stations, leaving many deserted at all hours and leading to the loss of around 100 staff'.
This week the TUC, ASLEF, RMT, TSSA and Unite are launching an Action for Rail campaign which ‘will bring passengers, campaigners and unions together to register their opposition to the government's proposals'.