Union warns of rail dispute over cuts

RAIL services on the East Anglian mainline could be affected after a union warned that industrial action against a train operator was “inevitable”.

Anthony Bond

RAIL services on the East Anglian mainline could be affected after a union warned that industrial action against a train operator was “inevitable”.

The Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) urged National Express East Anglia to reconsider its plans to cut jobs and end the restaurant service on Norwich-London trains.

The company announced recently that it is to axe 300 jobs in East Anglia which will mean the end of the restaurant service on InterCity trains to and from the capital.

It will also shut its Norwich call centre, which currently employs 73 people, and is also looking to cut back on administrative staff throughout the company.

The RMT yesterdayclaimed that cuts planned by the company would also see some already understaffed stations left with no platform staff at all.

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RMT leader Bob Crow said: “We have told the company that loyal rail workers and decent service standards are not there to be discarded to maintain fat-cat profits and that if these cuts go ahead an industrial dispute is inevitable.

“Our members will be holding a series of meetings to plan our response, and we hope passengers will join us in telling the company that cuts in services and jobs are unacceptable.”

A National Express spokesperson said: “We are currently in a consultation with trade unions and elected staff representatives.”

The train company announced recently that fares would increase in the New Year by as much as 6%, adding more than £200 to the price of a season ticket.

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