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RMT gives Greater Anglia deadline to reverse alleged ticket office closures

The RMT has today handed Greater Anglia an ultimatum to confirm that all ticket office jobs and windows will be kept open on its franchise by 19 June – or face a formal dispute.

It comes after the union stated that it will fight alleged plans from Greater Anglia to close ticket offices along its franchise and potentially slash jobs for those working there.

The union has also demanded for confirmation over two-person train despatch procedures and safety competencies of platform staff.

According to RMT, earlier in May the operator had informed the union that over the course of the franchise, which runs until 2026, traditional ticket offices would be cut down from 64 offices employing 358 staff to only seven offices at key stations.

But the union claimed that it has been met with a “brick wall” from the operator when trying to discuss or negotiate any further about the changes.

It also warned that the bulk of the closures are likely to occur during the next year in three stages, with seven offices set to be shut this summer.

The union’s outspoken general secretary, Mick Cash, said that RMT was “appalled” at the plans from Greater Anglia to close ticket offices.

“The union will fight with every tool at our disposal to halt these disastrous plans which are all about cutting public services to pump up private profits,” he argued.

“We have given the company a clear deadline to give us assurances on both ticket office and train despatch issues of 19 June and the ball is now in their court,” Cash added.

He asserted that if a positive response was not received by the given deadline, his union would have no option but to go ahead with a formal dispute.

“The Greater Anglia plans are part and parcel of a national drive to de-staff our trains and stations as the private train companies look to smuggle in a faceless railway in a dash to fatten up their own profit margins,” Cash concluded.

“RMT is calling on the public and politicians to join with us in a mass campaign to halt this ticket office wipe-out that would stretch the length and breadth of the Greater Anglia franchise.”

But a Greater Anglia spokesperson told RTM that it had no plans to reduce the number of ticket offices to seven.

“However, we are currently reviewing responses to a public consultation about proposals to close seven little-used ticket offices,” the spokesperson said. “There are no current proposals to close any other ticket offices.

“We will continue to consult with our colleagues and the trades unions on any proposed changes to ticket office arrangements."

Elsewhere, RMT is locked in a separate dispute with three other operators over the role of the guard on trains and potential moves to driver-only operated (DOO) and driver-controlled operation (DCO) services, although planned industrial action was called off after the Manchester attack earlier this month.

It also vowed to fight Carillon following claims that the contractor would be cutting jobs for people working for Network Rail.


Jimbo   31/05/2017 at 12:33

Wow, talk about a hair-trigger temper ... GA: "We are consulting with users and Unions on proposals to maybe close 7 little-used ticket offices" RMT: "WHAT!, you are closing all but 7 ticket offices, this is the end of the world, I DEMAND you never make any changes, otherwise STRIKE, STRIKE, STRIKE" Whether or not GA has plans to close ticket offices, and whether or not those plans are reasonable, any sensible discussion is being drowned out by Mr shouty RMT in the corner. How long before RMT membership realise that this excessively confrontational approach is really not helping them ?

Andrew Gwilt   31/05/2017 at 13:27

Well at least new trains will be ordered in a few years to replace the older rolling stocks as Greater Anglia have promised to improve the franchise with brand new Stadler Flirts and Bombardier Aventra fleets to operate on all lines across East Anglia.

King's Lynn   01/06/2017 at 10:54

I'm with Jimbo. Some very close relatives are employed by one of the TOCs RMT is in dispute with and, while they're not part of the RMT, Mr Cash's stance is becoming an embarrassment and a hindrance to everyone with his constant reactionary rhetoric.

Jon   01/06/2017 at 23:28

New trains are nothing to do with ticket office closures...

Billd   02/06/2017 at 15:33

I bet Mr Cash does not have a 405 line black and white television. He seems to want to freeze the railway in 20th century. His argument cannot with the TOCs who are introducing good practice as approved by the safety regulator and in place on various parts of the network. He is however doing a great job of alienating the people upon who his members depend for their wages.

Andrew Gwilt   04/06/2017 at 15:54

@Jon. Fine whatever.

Ryan   05/06/2017 at 13:56

Who said that he was talking to you Andrew.

Andrew Gwilt   06/06/2017 at 12:48

Don't start @Ryan.

Tony   06/06/2017 at 22:24

Here we go again.

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