More rail staff needed, urges union
Posted Mon, 11 Jan 2010
A railway union urged the hiring of more staff as it prepared to lobby for a campaign to save maintenance jobs.
The Rail Maritime and Transport union warned that Network Rail planned to cut 1,500 jobs. A timetable for a national ballot for industrial action over the cuts is due to be confirmed. and the RMT will seek MPs' support on January 27.
Severe weather this week emphasised the importance of proper staffing levels on the railways, said the union. It claimed some of the transport problems were worsened by a shortage of crew to de-freeze tracks and points.
Network Rail denied that safety would be affected.
General Secretary Bob Crow said: "Inspection and maintenance frequencies will be hacked back and it will create the poisonous cocktail of conditions that will jack up the risk of another Hatfield, Potters Bar, Paddington or Grayrigg disaster on the tracks.
"At a time when there is a political consensus that we need to expand and modernise the rail network, it is madness to be hacking back on the maintenance crews that we depend on to keep the railways safe."
Copyright © Press Association 2010
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