South West Trains retrains managers to cover strike action

South
West Trains has more than trebled the number of trains running during today’s
and tomorrow’s strike after retraining managers as guards and train dispatchers.

During
the RMT union strike earlier this month South West Trains was running under 200
train services, but this time the train operator estimates there will be 600
trains running in and out of Waterloo after more than 200 managers pitched in
to try and minimise disruption.

Other
managers are working in the customer services and information departments and
also as cleaners.

All
training has been safety validated and approved by the Railway Inspectorate.

“We
have 100 more managers available for training if the next strikes go ahead on
12-13 February eventually allowing us to run 1,000 trains a day. If the strike
continues we will train more of our people to act as guards until we operate a
full service,” said Andrew Haines, managing director at SWT.

 “I have asked for and been given the full
management resources of Stagecoach, our parent company, to ensure we continue
to increase the number of trains we can operate if the RMT refuses to call off
the strikes.”

The
industrial action by the RMT is over pay and the alleged abuse of disciplinary
procedure.

The
union has dismissed an 18-month pay increase of 7.6 per cent – backdated from
April 2001.   

By Paul Nelson

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