Your story 'Two year work ban for redundant Network Rail engineers' (NCE 6 May) beggars belief.
The action is of doubtful legality. From your report, the individuals were unaware of, and clearly did not agree to such shackles being placed on their future. It is being done in an underhand way.
Network Rail is in effect a monopoly employer in these circumstances. Their action is an unlawful restraint of trade and is possibly contrary to the Human Rights Act. If they do not change their policy it should be challenged in the courts.
If any of the engineers affected are (or were) members of TSSA, their case should be pursued on their behalf by that union. I am not sure that it is the job of the Institution of Civil Engineers openly to pursue this issue as suggested, although any informal pressure would no doubt help.
David Mason (F), 7 Minton Close, Congleton, Cheshire, CW12 3TD