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South West Trains Managers work as front line staff



South West Trains cuts 'force managers to work as guards'

Managers at South West Trains (SWT) are having to work as guards because the rail company sacked too many staff, the rail union claims.

 From the Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/8207768/South-West-Trains-cuts-force-managers-to-work-as-guards.html

Office-based managers have been asked to volunteer for platform duties including blowing whistles, "passenger loadings" and customer services during the morning rush hour because of staff shortages, according to the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA).

SWT said the measure was temporary to help the company to run the smoothest possible service during "exceptional" weather conditions. However, he denied managers were being roped in because of staff shortages. Staffing levels were "sufficient", he insisted.

Last year, SWT cut nearly 700 posts. Earlier this month, Stagecoach, the owner of South West Trains, posted a 45pc rise in first-half profit and raised its interim dividend by 10pc to 2.2pc.

Gerry Doherty, general secretary of the TSSA, said: "By always concentrating on the bottom line, and cutting jobs and services, [Brian Souter, Stagecoach chief executive] now finds himself without enough staff to do a proper job. This is not the way to run a railway."

SWT came under fire more than a decade ago by railway campaigners after a report revealed it had to cut services due to a shortage of drivers. The spokesman said on Thursday the lack of drivers was an isolated incident that was "done and dusted".

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