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Sunday 21 September 2014

Boss sells tickets amid rail strike

Published 23/05/2014 | 11:16

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Heathrow Express managing director Keith Greenfield sells tickets to customers at Paddington station (Heathrow Express/PA Wire)

The managing director of a rail company swapped his office for selling tickets today as a strike hit services on the Heathrow Express.

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Keith Greenfield worked on platforms at Heathrow as part of contingency plans to cover for striking members of the Rail. Maritime and Transport union.

The union, which is taking industrial action today and on Monday following previous walkouts in protest at cuts, attacked the firm's "cheap publicity stunt".

Heathrow Express said trains and platforms were being manned by "reservist" staff.

Mr Greenfield said: "We are continuing to serve the 17,000 people a day on average who rely on our service to get them to and from Heathrow.

"Strike or no strike, we remain the fastest way to travel between central London and Heathrow, so we are continuing to welcome our customers on board and transporting them in the usual speedy fashion.

"The RMT's wrong-headed decision to strike again ignores the reality that Heathrow Express needs to save £6 million of cost over the next five years in order to secure its future and jobs for its people.

"Strikes will increase costs at a time when we are trying to reduce them. We have repeatedly advised the RMT that this errant tactic will succeed only in achieving a worse result for RMT members. We hope they see sense."

Mick Cash, acting general secretary of the RMT, said the planned cuts would hit jobs, pay and safety.

"The strike is being solidly supported by staff who are angry at the axing of jobs and attacks on pay and conditions despite their hard work in helping to make Heathrow Express a success story."

The Heathrow Connect stopping service between London Paddington and Heathrow will not run at all during the strikes.

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