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INDUSTRIAL Watchdog urged to stop firm using dangerous scabs

RAIL union RMT called on regulators to step in to prevent a repeat of safety risks during looming strike action on Greater Anglia.

Members at Greater Anglia will strike on November 8 and 9 against plans to abolish the jobs of safety-critical guards on trains.

During previous strike action the company ran some services with untrained managers as guards. The result was a catalogue of dangerous errors, including doors opening on the wrong side of trains after arriving at stations.

RMT reported the hazards to the watchdog Office of Rail and Road (ORR), which confirmed that passenger safety was being jeopardised by the company’s actions.

But the Dutch state-owned firm is being allowed by the ORR to repeat its actions.

The union’s general secretary Mick Cash has written to the ORR’s chief inspector of railways Ian Prosser calling for intervention.

Mr Cash said: “It would be scandalous if Abellio Greater Anglia were allowed to crash on next week with the same operational model that was identified as clearly deficient by the safety regulator during the last phase of strike action.

“Abellio Greater Anglia were caught red-handed putting the travelling public at risk in a desperate effort to break the strike and there must be no repeat of this cavalier attitude to passenger safety next week.”

He called for Greater Anglia bosses to negotiate with the union to achieve a settlement to the dispute.

The ORR had not responded to requests for comment at the time of going to press.


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