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Virgin Trains East Coast: Job Cuts Announced

21 July 2016

Virgin Trains East Coast has announced they intend to cut 159 jobs from Station, Travel Centre, and On-board staffing. The cuts represent a significant reduction in customer facing staff, and can only result in a worse customer experience and increased stress for an already stretched workforce.

Travel Centres are particularly badly affected, as the proposed cut of 31 jobs represents a massive 15% reduction to the total number of TC staff. The Company’s communication to staff says the cuts to TCs and Stations (where a further 15 job cuts are proposed) will be enabled by the introduction of “Customer Zones”. However, no-one in the Company can even tell us exactly what these “Customer Zones” look like, let alone how they intend to make them work in the absence of the necessary technology being available. This makes us suspicious that these job cuts have more to do with boosting profits than improving the service.

It is completely unacceptable to announce these cuts without any detailed justification or firm plan being discussed with the trade unions. Whilst we acknowledge VTEC’s statement that they do not intend to make any compulsory redundancies, this does not go far enough and we will not agree to concepts without any substance, or arbitrary job reductions which heap more pressure on our members. We are currently seeking an urgent meeting with the Company to discuss the proposals, and have not ruled out the possibility of balloting members for industrial action to defend their jobs. Further updates will follow in due course.

If you require any further information on the contents of this article, please contact your staff reps in the first instance. Please also discuss the contents of this article with your colleagues, and encourage any non-members to join. The more members we have, the stronger we are. Membership application forms can be obtained from your TSSA reps or you can join on-line here.

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