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Network Rail to sack long distance staff

14 February 2012

Network Rail is planning to sack hundreds of staff for living too far away from their work, the TSSA union revealed today.

Two out of every five staff at their London HQ will be axed this summer if they live more than 75 minutes travelling time from the rail firm's new £30 million headquarters at Milton Keynes.

Managers have been given more leeway, they can live up to 90 minutes away from the four storey glass fronted HQ next to Milton Keynes station.

The union estimate some 850 staff, mainly living south of London in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, will lose their jobs when 2,200 transfer from the Melton Street HQ next to Euston in the summer.

"This is an unfair and arbitrary decision which we believe to be unlawful," said union general secretary Manuel Cortes.

"It does not apply to staff working in London at present. This modern day version of Beat the Clock to get to work is a complete nonsense.

"They are telling staff they cannot follow their jobs in the worst recession in 70 years. With unemployment heading towards 3 million, where else are they going to find work in these hard times?".

He has written to NR warning bosses that the union will take legal action to defend its members right to move to Milton Keynes.

He added:"This is the legacy of bully boy HR boss Peter Bennett who stood down at Christmas. The irony is that he lived in rural splendour in Leicestershire and travelled first class into the office in a journey that took longer than 75 minutes.

"We are hoping that NR will start to see sense on this issue and finally end the hypocrisy of the Bennett era."

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