Thursday, 17 December 2009

Resist rail job cuts

Hundreds of early-morning travellers to and from Wrexham's main train station were greeted by a protest picket of railworkers concerned that job cuts will put people's lives at risk.

Trade unionists from the RMT rail union and the North Wales Shop Stewards Network distributed leaflets at Wrexham General Station this morning in protest at plans by Network Rail to cut up to a third of the track maintenance workforce locally.

The move is part of an overall scheme by Network Rail to cut 1500 jobs, including 100 in Wales. The reduced Wrexham workforce is also being moved from Wrexham to Chester.

The picket was organised by the RMT rail union and supported by local trade unionists. A spokesman for the North Wales Shop Stewards Network said: "Cutting track maintenance workers means compromising on safety. Network Rail have learned nothing from the terrible incidents at Hatfield and Potters Bar, where poor maintenance contributed to lethal crashes. Losing a third of the workforce localy will mean a return to those days.

"For the sake of passenger safety, we cannot allow that to happen and that's why we're fully behind the RMT's campaign to safeguard local jobs and maintain the track crews here in Wrexham.

"We're also concerned that the investment put in by the Assembly Government in Wrexham is being undermined by Network Rail, which is planning to move all the track maintenance crews to Chester. This will actually cost Network Rail more money."

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