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All change please! Fat Controller sacks too many staff

16 December 2010

Britain's busiest rail firm is asking managers to double up as platform guards because it sacked too many staff last year.

Managers have been asked to volunteer for platform duties at South West Trains during the morning rush hour because of staff shortages.

They are being asked to help with "passenger loadings" and "customer service duties", according to a document leaked to the TSSA rail union.

"Duties will include customer information, blowing whistles and general encouragement to speed up passenger loadings," it adds.

The stations which need managers to help out on the London Waterloo based serivce are at Clapham Junction, Putney, Richmond, Twickenham, Earlsfield and Raynes Park.

Last year the firm, which carries over 400,000 passengers a day, axed 700 posts.

"It looks as though SWT’s very own Fat Controller, Brian Souter of Stagecoach, has got his sums very badly wrong," said union general secretary Gerry Doherty.

"By always concentrating on the bottom line, and cutting jobs and services, he now finds himself without enough staff to do a proper job. This is not the way to run a railway.

"For providing this second class service, he will be asking passengers to pay an extra 6.5 per cent for their tickets from 2 January."

SWT is part of the Stagecoach Group which last week announced half year profits of £124 million. It is receiving over £200 million of taxpayers cash in subsidies this year for running the SWT and Virgin franchises.

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