Network Rail has announced that it will cut the number of frontline maintenance staff by 1,800 by April 2011.
This announcement was made ahead of the start of consultation this week.
This represents a 14 percent cut in posts.
Rail unions have had reports of vital infrastructure work being left undone and safety-related posts being diluted in the name of saving money.
Cuts are being proposed today in the belief that new, fictitious systems will deliver “efficiencies” in the future.
The reality is that not all of the maintenance that should currently be done is being done because there are not enough workers to do it.
Network Rail workers have already been through a number of cost-cutting reorganisations.
This one is the biggest challenge yet for the RMT and TSSA unions.
They must stand together and prevent the company from laying off desperately needed, skilled staff, which would undermine the safety of the railway’s infrastructure with detriment to the public.