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Thursday 8th March 2012 | 12:50
RMT press release
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: "This Government rail plan isn't a recipe for efficiency, it's a recipe for exploitation with the train operators given the green light to rob passengers blind to travel on overcrowded and unsafe trains in the name of private profit.
"Axing ticket offices and guards will turn stations and trains into a criminals paradise. For passengers it will mean the double scandal of being mugged by those who set the fares and then running the risk of being mugged by yobbos using the destaffed services as a cover for violence and assaults.
"This plan also sets us on course for a return to the dark and dangerous days of Railtrack that led to the disasters of Hatfield and Potters Bar. For the first time since the creation of a nationalised Network Rail the way is being paved for private companies to run localised, mini-Railtrack concessions in the name of greed and profit.
"At least 12,000 jobs are placed at risk as a result of this industrial vandalism on the tracks and RMT has conference policy stating that the assault on jobs and working conditions set up by McNulty, and now mirrored by the Government, will be met by a national campaign of resistance including industrial action.
"This whole Command Paper could have been written by the private train operators who want longer franchises and the right to jack up fares and to seize control of infrastructure so that they can continue to rack up billions of pounds of profits and dividends while charging the highest fares in Europe to travel on the worst services.
"If the Government want to save 30% of the current rail costs they could do it at a stroke by ending the fragmentation and exploitation which is enshrined in privatisation and by returning to a railway run under public ownership as a public service."