SBB to slash 900 jobs in major cost-cutting plan

Swiss Federal Railways is to cut 900 jobs in the next five years as part of a plan to save 550 million francs a year up to 2020 and 1.75 billion in the ten years from 2020 to 2030.

SBB to slash 900 jobs in major cost-cutting plan
Photo: Swiss Federal Railways

Switzerland's state railway company – also known as the SBB and the CCF – announced the cost-saving plans on Thursday under the banner RailFit20/30.

The plans also include cuts to general overheads, administration and distribution costs.

In a statement, Swiss Federal Railways said the measures were “a response to the large increase in costs of the rail system as the costs of other modes of transport experience a marked decrease”.

The overall cost of the Swiss rail system is expected to rise sharply until 2030, it said, and as a result SBB must take steps to remain competitive.

The company’s plans therefore also include more investment in “attractive offers” to entice rail travellers, and a commitment to exploit new technologies such as automation.

The axing of jobs will be conducted in consultation with workers’ union GAV, said the company, and where possible will be geared towards “natural fluctuations and the departure of retirees”.

Some jobs will also be created, it said, particularly within engineering, train personnel and training.

There’s also good news for customers – ticket prices will increase only moderately, if at all, according to the operators of what is perhaps the world's most famous rail network.

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