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BB to end disastrous eastern European outsourcing

After a disastrous experience involving the moving of the repair of rolling stock to eastern Europe that resulted in defective wagons causing at least one accident in Italy the Austrian rail company BB is reportedly bringing maintenance back to Austria.

The railway workers union in Austria had criticised the move to outsource the repair to eastern Europe branding it as wage dumping after it was revealed that unsafe wheels were to blame for the accident in South Tyrol. Trade unionists said that while BB staff were put under threat because of the move to switch work to Slovakia - the accident proves it was the wrong decision and they demanded an about turn.

The move had originally meant that the train companies maintenance depot in Salzburg was likely to close but this is now no longer on the cards after a check of other BB trucks revealed problems with up to 2,000 goods trucks, resulting in a ban on BB carriages going into Italy.

One report said the state railway system could be facing a multi-million pound bill if Italian officials are correct, and that many of its goods wagons have got faulty wheels thanks to outsourcing in eastern Europe.

A Slovakian subsidiary firm of the rail company was responsible for maintenance of wheels on the wagons.

According to information to hand the Slovakian firm passed them on to a Polish company ZOS which has in turn its own subsidiary in the Slovakian Trnava.

Railway train union spokesman Walter Androschin said: "The management have now accepted the workers recommendation that outsourcing is without doubt much too expensive and this outsourcing will now be stopped and repair and maintenance work in future will be carried out in Austria. That will mean better quality and lower costs at the end of the day. The main depot at Salzburg will now be used for this purpose as well as the locations at Jedlersdorf and Linz, safeguarding 80 Austrian jobs."

It is believed that staffing numbers will even be increased to meet the demand.

The BB has semi-confirmed the trade union claim saying that they plan to reduce the amount of outsourcing in eastern Europe without giving specific figures.

Austrian Times

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