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Ministers spark safety row as Network Rail axe 750 jobs

30 September 2013

Network Rail sparked a safety row today over axing 750 managerial jobs ahead of a parliamentary enquiry into its safety record at level crossings.

The job losses-to meet cuts imposed by the Coalition-will hit senior staff in safety critical roles, warned Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union.

"It is simply unbelievable that Ministers are making these cuts and NR are imposing job cuts less than a month before the parliamentary inquiry begins.*

"They are pre-empting the work of Transport Select Committee which may recommend that more resources are needed to improve level crossing safety, not less," said the union general secretary.

"It is blatant hypocrisy for Patrick McLoughlin to paint a rosy picture of an expanding railway to today's Tory conference when he has, in fact, ordered £2 billion of cuts over the next five years."

NR bosses have warned the union that it will have to reduce its managerial pay budget by up to 15% to meet the cuts target-putting up to 750 jobs at risk.

"We think NR bosses should cut their own £5 million bonus plan before they start cutting the jobs of key staff," added Mr Cortes.

ends

* Commons Transport Select Committee begins an enquiry into NR's level crossing safety record, on October 21. The firm has been fined £1.95 million in the past 18 months over three level crossing accidents in which three people died and a 13-year-old boy left with life changing injuries.

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