10% of NSB’s trains in Eastern Norway are either scheduled or driven with fewer carriages than normal. The reason is that the Group has laid off too many personnel.
Aftenposten newspaper has gained access to an internal letter in NSB,where management informed employees that the company has been in a difficult situation. NSB carried out major crew cuts in the last six months of 2016, and in 2017, to reduce costs.
Replying to the newspaper, CEO in NSB, Geir Isaksen, acknowledged that the Group has discarded too many employees.
“We have gone too far. We now have too few crew members in terms of normal scheduled traffic,” said Isaksen to the newspaper.
On Thursday, the Group had to cancel ten departures completely, and run train services with reduced capacity on 49 others. NSB has 630 departures in Eastern Norway, and in total, of those, 10% were hit,explained Isaksen, but he pointed out that some of the personnel shortages are due to winter holidays, and employees at home with flu.
Both the Conductor Association, and the Lokmannsforbundet have warned against the staffing cuts.
“My prediction is that in one to two years we will have a locomotive crisis in Norway,” said Rolf Ringdal, leader of Lokmannsforbundet (Conductor’s Union).
After NSB became aware that they had cut themselves into a crew crisis, they implemented a recruitment drive.
“In May we will be on dry land again when it comes to train drivers, and in June with conductors. Meanwhile, we have spent a lot on overtime’’, said Isaksen.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today