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Rail union RMT has called on the Government to urgently intervene and agree a financial support package for the open-access operators Grand Central and Hull Trains to avoid proposed job cuts.
Hull Trains’ managing director Louise Cheeseman says proposals have been shared with union reps and a formal consultation process will start on Tuesday (October 6th).
She said: “Our strategy to protect the long-term future of Hull Trains began back in March when we hibernated the business.
“We have been working with FirstGroup to establish a sustainable business plan for Hull Trains and, whilst we have made a very cautious return, we have always known that getting back on track would come with its challenges.
“As a result, there are some proposals which have been shared with Union Reps and a formal consultation process will start on Tuesday 6th October.”
Unlike the franchised train companies, the open-access operators have received no Government support during the pandemic. The RMT says both companies are now in an unsustainable position, and are proposing job cuts.
RMT is demanding urgent Government intervention to support the open-access sector and to protect all jobs at Grand Central and Hull Trains.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Months ago RMT warned the Government that the open-access rail operators were in need of emergency funding, yet they have received no Government support throughout the pandemic.
“Passenger numbers across the railway remain far below pre-COVID levels, and both Grand Central and Hull Trains are now proposing redundancies as a result of this loss of revenue.
“I have written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps to demand an urgent support package for the open-access sector to enable them to remain viable and to protect all jobs and conditions.
“RMT will take all steps necessary to protect the jobs and conditions of its members.”
Photo credit: Hull Trains
This article first appeared on www.railbusinessdaily.com
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