TRANSPORT union RMT vowed yesterday to fight “all the way” against cuts to renewals work for Network Rail which they claim will threaten jobs and passenger safety.
The battle cry came in response to a consultation document given to the union by contractors Carillion, which highlights possible job cuts and redundancies.
RMT condemned the proposals as “alarming and deplorable” and warned that cuts in Network Rail’s planned renewals programme will see the loss of skilled jobs and trains running on older and more hazardous tracks.
The union also pointed out that the cuts reveal government claims of investing in rail improvement and delivery to be “wholly bogus.”
A meeting of the RMT executive pledged that any threat of compulsory redundancies would be “fought vigorously” by the union.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “The government and Network Rail have a duty to ensure that our railway is maintained and renewed to the modern and safe standard that the public and our economy needs and deserve.
“The announcement of cutbacks affecting Carillion and other infrastructure companies are a sure sign of cash and job cuts that will put at risk skilled jobs and also the modern, safe rail infrastructure we desperately need.”
A Network Rail spokesman said: “Some non-essential renewals work is being postponed and the money diverted into areas that will have more direct impact for passengers — at improving train performance or helping to fund projects that expand and improve the railway.”