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Network Rail boss blasted after suggesting lowest-paid workers were LAZY at school | United Kingdom | News UK News

Nicky Hughes, Network Rail’s head of communications in Wales and West Region, made the comments in an apparent defense of highly paid managers working on the rail network. Ms Hughes said running businesses is “extremely complicated” and not a job that “many other people” could do.

She said, “Yes, there are people in our company who are on high salaries.

“We are a massive multi-billion pound business, with complex finances, risk, governance, public and political scrutiny and we also have some of the biggest building projects in the UK.

“Running businesses like these is extremely complex and complicated. It’s definitely not a job that I or many other people can do.

“This does not mean that senior executives and leaders are always right… far from it, but we also need to be fair and recognize that all companies – public and private – compete for executives who have these skills and pay for them. result.

“It’s a lesson for those of us who probably should have worked harder in school.”

After harsh criticism, Ms Hughes was forced to apologize for her comments claiming that growing up in a ‘difficult field’ she experienced poverty.

She said: ‘I am very aware, as the single child of a single parent, who grew up in a difficult field dependent on free clothing vouchers and free school meals, that life is not so easy or simple for many people for many, many reasons.

However, his remarks were lambasted by unions representing railway workers.

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Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Association of Salaried Transport Personnel, said the comments showed “how desperately out of touch the big cats in the company are”.

Mr Cortes added that it was “insulting” given the current cost of living crisis.

He said: ‘It’s insulting to suggest that workers should have worked harder in school, rather than recognizing the very real cost of living issues that people suffer when their pay fails to keep up. inflation.”

Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union general secretary Mick Lynch described Ms Hughes’ comments as ‘a desperate and futile attempt by Network Rail to dissuade our railway members from voting in this upcoming poll of strike”.

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A Network Rail spokesman said her comments had been “misinterpreted” and that she “referred to her own experiences”.

It comes as more than 40,000 RMT members across Network Rail and train operators are voted for strike action.

According to the transport union, a yes vote could result in the biggest railway strike in recent history.

According to the RMT, Network Rail plans to cut at least 2,500 safety-critical maintenance jobs as part of a £2billion cut in spending.

At the same time, workers and train operators have been subjected to wage freezes and changes to their terms and conditions.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-29 23:01:00

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