Cotral, squeezed on the commuter trains. “Less coffee breaks for the drivers”

Cotral calls the machinists Rome-Lido and off Rome-Civitacastellana-Viterbo: in their shift they will have to spend more time driving and having fewer breaks. At least fifty minutes more work aboard the convoys. This is the first step taken by the regional company two months after entering the management of these two railway lines which are very well visited by commuters.
The new work shift starts tomorrow. The goal is one: aincrease the level of productivity within the limit of the union agreements already signed by Atac, the former manager. A train driver’s shift today is 6 hours and thirty minutes. The actual daily working time for driving the trains will increase by an average of 50 minutes, bringing the average driving time from the current 3 hours for the employees on the Rome-Viterbo line to 3 hours and 50.

The drivers of Roma-Lido, on the other hand, will go from the current 3 hours and 39 to 4 hours and 27 minutes. Basically fewer breaks (even for coffee) and more on the run. But even less Extraordinary which went to bolster wages. Cotral explains that “the reorganization project was presented to the unions and aims to rebalance production to service needs, to reduce the number of suppressions generated by the lack of personnel and to eliminate the abnormal use of overtime”. Among the innovations, the regional transport company stated “even the correct allocation of shifts” based on the departure of trains in the facilities belonging to the employees to “avoid unnecessary and expensive trips between stations with company cars”. An optimization that will have a positive impact on commuters to reduce the risk of skipped trips and who return to work after the post-Covid restriction phase.

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From 2020 on Rome-Civitacastellana-Viterbo, the number of driver and capitreno shifts has increased but in the meantime, the number of trips decreased. At the same time, the use of overtime has increased, adding single trips to those that workers made “round trips” from the same terminus. In 2015, each urban shift of the line was planned to ensure that each driver made between 8 and 10 runs per shift for 37 hours of work per week. In 2019, the races have decreased to between 6 and 8 in shifts, with 39 hours of work per week. In 2020, for some shifts (compared to the previous year) the races even dropped to 4. This kind of appeal to Extraordinary it has caused some salary notices to increase even by 4 thousand euros more per year.

On the Rome-Lido railway, the service includes 122 scheduled journeys from Monday to Saturday. The frequency of the trains would actually be 22 minutes but the real one varies up to 35/40 due to lack of funds and consequent canceled races. From the autumn, some trains will return from maintenance: the aim is to increase journeys by 12% from 2023 and reach a frequency, in rush hour, of one train every fifteen minutes. All this, not to mention that the region has invested 350 million euros in a tender to buy 33 new vehicles (15 for Rome-Lido and 18 for Rome-Viterbo) that will hit the tracks from 2024.

In total, they are employed on the Rome-Lido line 44 train drivers and 53 capitreno. Of these, around 24 are physically driving the vehicles, while 11 (nearly 40% of the workforce) are for the “reserve and manoeuvre” passes, i.e. available to the company to cover any absence. The shift for a contract driver is 39 hours per week spread over 6 days (Monday to Saturday). Of these, those dedicated to driving are, according to negotiations at the second level, 4 and a half. The two hours in excess include one hour of psychophysical recovery at the end of the shift and the “accessory and care times”, i.e. preparation for duty.



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