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TSSA Joins Protest Against Rail Cuts

25 October 2011

TSSA leaders will join TUC leaders and passenger groups protesting at Parliament today, warning the Government against cutting rail jobs, increasing fares and closing ticket offices.

 

 

TSSA members, together with fellow rail unions, TUC leaders and passenger groups joined a protest at Parliament on 25th October, warning the Government against cutting rail jobs, increasing fares and closing ticket offices.

Rail unions said they feared ministers were preparing to implement the McNulty rail review, published in May, saying it would lead to the closure of more than 600 ticket offices, de-staffing stations, cutting the number of guards on trains and increasing fares even further.

Manuel Cortes, assistant general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association, said: "The McNulty proposals will worsen passenger services, turn some rail stations into no-go areas and hit taxpayers in the pocket as a consequence of adding to the already rising unemployment queues. They make no sense and are driven by political dogma."

Gerry Doherty, union general secretary, added: "Rail passengers and staff are facing their biggest threat since the Tories unleashed Dr Beeching on the rail network 50 years ago.

"On top of the McNulty cuts, the Tories are also raising fares by some 30% in just four years. We must fight for an affordable railway for everyone."

Frances O'Grady, the TUC's deputy general secretary, said: "With rail passengers being hit by price hikes and public subsidy increasing, the escalating costs of our dysfunctional privatised rail industry must be addressed.

"The Government has a clear choice. It can follow Europe with more efficient and cheaper rail systems under public ownership, or it can follow the McNulty report, cutting jobs and services, increasing the break-up of our rail network, and giving more power to private train operating companies.

"If the Government follows McNulty, our railways will be even more skewed towards the interests of shareholders.

"With three quarters of franchises up for renewal in the next five years, bringing rail services in-house would be a painless process. Europe shows us that integrated, publicly-owned railways eliminate the massive costs and inefficiency of the privatised rail market where shareholders, consultants, executives and lawyers are the winners."

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