date: 14 December 2011
embargo: 00.01 hrs Thursday 15 December 2011
The TUC is supporting a national day of action today (Thursday) bringing rail unions and passenger groups together to fight proposals to cut staffing and services on UK railways.
The TUC fears that the government will use its Command Paper, due to be published in the new year, to set out how it will take forward proposals in the McNulty review. This could include dramatic cuts to staffing and services, including the closure of over half the ticket offices in the country, cuts to staff on trains, stations, and in renewals and maintenance teams, as well as longer franchises that offer train operating companies greater freedom to cut unprofitable services.
The day of action will see campaigners distributing postcards to passengers during the morning rush hour at train stations around England, Scotland and Wales.
TUC Deputy General Secretary Frances O'Grady said: 'The McNulty review proposes the loss of tens of thousands of frontline workers such as train guards, station and ticket office staff, as well as safety critical infrastructure and operational workers.
'It calls for even greater commercial freedom for train operators, higher fares, cuts in services, and more crowded trains - and for the breakup of Network Rail, which will make railways inefficient and put profit before safety.
'Cutting the number of ticket office workers, station staff and train crews is not what passengers want, and I'm sure many of them will back the action unions are organising today to support our railways.
'McNulty ignores lessons from railways in Europe which have achieved lower costs and fares through a more unified structure than Britain's fragmented railways. And of course it has been the uncoordinated short termism of our railways that has put the UK's last train manufacturer in Derby on the brink of closure.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- For more information the campaigning action today (Thursday) please call Matt Dykes on 020 7467 1245.
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: email@example.com
Elly Gibson T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued: 15 December, 2011