Page last updated at 16:57 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Train firm 'concealing job cuts'

Crowded commuter train
The RMT said the cuts were "eating into the very fabric of the railway"

South West Trains (SWT) has been accused of trying to conceal the true extent of its proposed job cuts.

The Rail Maritime and Transport Union claims the firm is intending to axe 100 more posts on top of the 660 announced.

The union also says SWT is creating new "revenue collection" posts at half the salary of current under threat staff performing similar duties.

SWT says the claims are a "work of fiction" and there are no plans to announce any further job losses.

"The position is very clear, we have proposed a net reduction of 100 positions on revenue protection duties," a spokesperson said.

"The RMT has known this from the consultation meeting we held on 4 February, but it is now conveniently choosing to ignore the significant number of revenue protection duties being created as part of the gating of a number of stations on our network.

RMT is urging members to vote for strike action to show...they will not allow their jobs to be sacrificed simply to protect fat profits
Bob Crow, RMT general secretary

"This scaremongering by the union is a deliberate attempt to mislead and manipulate our people when the union is balloting for strike action."

SWT would not reveal the salary for the jobs being created but said under-threat staff would be given a chance to apply for the positions.

However, RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "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%.

"RMT is urging members to vote for strike action to show Stagecoach (SWT's parent company) that they will not allow their jobs to be sacrificed simply to protect fat profits."

SWT operates routes through Hampshire, Surrey, Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Devon, Somerset and London.



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