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Lobby of Parliament in fight to stop rail safety jobs being axed

PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:27 05 October 2010

PROTESTERS are to lobby MPs in Parliament to try and stop the axing of 1,500 safety maintenance jobs by Network Rail. A national ballot for industrial action by is planned by the RMT union which is organising the lobby on January 27

By Mike Brooke

PROTESTERS are to lobby MPs in Parliament to try and stop the axing of 1,500 safety maintenance jobs by Network Rail.

A national ballot for industrial action by rail maintenance staff is planned by the RMT union which is organising the lobby on January 27.

The severe weather conditions this week have underlined the importance of proper staffing levels on the rail network, the union warns.

Some transport problems have been worsened by a shortage of crew to defrost frozen tracks and points even before Network Rail pushes through a further 1,500 job cuts, it points out.

“The severe cold snap shows you cannot cut corners when it comes to rail maintenance,” said RMT General Secretary Bob Crow.

“We need more staff to cope with these periods of pressure. There is no doubt if Network Rail bulldoze through this jobs massacre it will cause service disruption on a massive scale.

“It’s a lethal gamble with rail safety and madness to be hacking back on the maintenance crews that we depend on.

“This will create the poisonous cocktail of conditions that will jack up the risk of another tragedy like Hatfield, Potters Bar and Paddington.”

The union is getting ready to announce a timetable for a ballot for industrial action.

Protesters for the January 27 lobby hold a rally at 2.15pm in Committee Room 14 of the House of Commons before they lobby individual MPs.


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