Railway firms rely on drivers doing costly overtime to keep networks running

THE drivers working for almost all of the most important rail operators in Britain are on a four-day week, working not more than 36 hours, permitting them to money in on huge quantities of additional time.

Due to this bosses are pressured to supply a whole bunch of kilos a day in additional time as an incentive to get individuals to work.

Many prepare drivers are contracted to only work 36 hours over 4 days
Getty – Contributor

Some of the drivers are already on £65,000 a 12 months, in line with an investigation by the Daily Mail.

The working practices have been blamed for a whole bunch of delayed or cancelled companies however the unions declare the businesses are at fault for not hiring extra drivers who’re on a mean wage of £53,000.

The paper claims that on the day of the World Cup ultimate, July 15, Northern Rail which operates a four-day working week, cancelled 170 companies as a result of scores of drivers had opted out of additional time to look at the sport.

Similarly, companies run by Great Western Rail have been additionally cancelled, with the corporate counting on drivers opting to work on Sunday as a result of they aren’t contracted to.

Northern Rail cancelled 170 companies on the day of the World Cup Final
PA:Press Association

Both operators admitted their companies have been disrupted by “reduced” or “unavailable” employees.

Tory MP Grant Shapps stated: “Given the way in which passengers have suffered this previous couple of months, it should be time to finish the system the place it’s voluntary to show as much as work.

“Commuters have to know that when the timetable says a prepare is operating, there’s somebody there to drive it.

“Drivers are already properly remunerated, so it shouldn’t be too much to expect trains to run efficiently every day of the week.”

The four-day working week was proposed following the privatisation of British Rail, which began in 1994.

However, official steerage from the Office of Rail and Road says drivers can work as much as 48 hours every week, permitting for a substantial quantity of additional time.

Train drivers get a mean wage of £53,000 however this may be boosted with additional time
Alamy

A typical additional time fee, the paper claims, features a 15 per cent enhance to a driver’s day by day fee of £250, plus a £50 bonus for working the additional time shift – that means they’ll obtain as a lot as £337 a day.

Arriva Trains Wales, West Midlands Railway and Northern all blamed cancellations on a scarcity of drivers final week.

Frustrated passengers have been hit by various strikes repeatedly since 2016, primarily over the usage of guards on trains and the introduction of driver-only companies.

Southern has primarily been affected by the strikes but additionally Greater Anglia, CrossCountry and Merseyrail have additionally seen strikes.

A senior Tory supply advised the paper: “Things like refusing to work Sundays or overtime at the last minute show that unions only have their own self-interest at heart – they don’t care about providing a good service or what’s best for passengers.”

The unions say the businesses want to rent extra drivers
Alamy

Mick Cash, RMT normal secretary, stated: “It fits the operators to run on a knife edge and be reliant on individuals engaged on their relaxation days. It is fraught with problem as a result of it’s not obligatory to work in your day without work.

“The rail industry is run on a wing and a prayer with an expectation that people will work overtime on their days off. The solution is very simple. We need more drivers.”

An Aslef spokesman added: “On any given day train services are being run voluntarily.”

Bruce Williamson, of the marketing campaign group RailFuture, stated: “There is a scarcity of drivers. Whatever the networks say, we all know that is the case.

“We pay the very best rail fares in Europe and we definitely don’t get the very best service for that.

“If you are cutting human resources to the bone then that will have an impact.”

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which speaks for rail operators, denied there was a driver scarcity, including: “Operators continually recruit for drivers and work with trade unions to discuss employment terms so that they can meet the demands of the timetable.”

A spokesman for Northern stated: “We have more drivers than we need to run a full timetable in normal circumstances.”

A spokesman for Govia Thameslink Railway, which runs Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern, stated it was bringing Sundays into the working week.

He added:”Drivers working relaxation days and additional time is normal follow within the trade and is used to cowl coaching necessities, illness and different, day-to-day points.”


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