Rail workers to strike

Last updated at 13:25 20 May 2004

Rail workers have voted to strike in a dispute over pay and pensions.

The Royal Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) is planning a series of co-ordinated stoppages that will cripple train services and cause misery for thousands of commuters.

Around 7,000 signal workers and maintenance staff are now set to be involved in the worst industrial unrest on the railways for a decade.

Union members voted by 2,947 in favour of a strike with 2,246 against, a majority of 58 per cent.

The turn out was 68 per cent, high for a union ballot.

Mr Crow said the union's executive will meet next week to decide what form of industrial action will be held following consultation with RMT reps across the country.


He made it clear that strikes will be held unless there is a breakthrough, although he said there will be no disruption during the bank holiday weekend or to coincide with events to mark the 60th anniversary of D-Day.

"Despite a venomous and misleading propaganda campaign by Network Rail, our members have voted for action to defend their pension rights, to end two-tier working conditions and for justice on pay."

The RMT warned it might co-ordinate strike action on the mainline railway with London Underground, where union members are involved in a separate pay dispute.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow announced the ballot result at the union's London head office.

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