Union threatens strike ballot over job losses for Greater Anglia managers

Greater Anglia is changing its staffing arrangements in preparation for the arrival of new trains li

Greater Anglia is changing its staffing arrangements in preparation for the arrival of new trains like these Bombardier Aventras which are due to come into operation later this year. Picture: GREATER ANGLIA - Credit: Archant

Members of a rail union at Greater Anglia may be balloted on strike action in a dispute over a restructuring that is leading to the loss of 19 management jobs.

The company is re-organising its administration which is leading to the departure of the managers – although it insists frontline staff will not be affected.

General secretary at TSSA, Manuel Cortes, has threatened industrial action over what he described as “outrageous behaviour” by Greater Anglia.

The union said the company was intending to dispense with some managers without giving any explanation to members.

Mr Cortes said: “The company is behaving outrageously, and its actions are akin to those of a Victorian mill owner.

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“If they don’t meet us to discuss this matter at once, before any manager has been made redundant, we will consider all options available to stop them including a ballot for industrial action.

“Sadly, many of our members have been affected and are considerably upset at the way they have been treated.

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“No explanation has been forthcoming from the company.

He added: “We will not let this pass.

“I am seeking reassurances that this behaviour will stop forthwith and have demanded urgent meetings.

“Greater Anglia should suspend any pending compulsory redundancies until such meetings have been held.

“The company has been given 48 hours to comply with this otherwise we will take whatever action we deem necessary to defend the interests of our members.”

A spokeswoman for Greater Anglia said 25 managers were leaving – out of a total of a total of 570 among the 3,150 total staff – and that their departure was currently being negotiated.

She said: “Over the next two years Greater Anglia is focused on driving up performance levels, raising customer service standards and introducing a complete fleet of new trains.

“We are currently undergoing a re-organisation to ensure that we are in the strongest possible position to deliver this transformational change by prioritising front-line customer service delivery.

“As part of this re-organisation, a number of management and support roles are being phased out over the next month, following due process.”

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