RAIL UNION RMT announced this morning that a ballot for action of signalling and supervisory staff has returned a vote of 54% for strike action and a vote of 77% for action short of a strike on a turnout of 71% in a dispute over safety and the imposition of new working conditions.
The ballot result follows an overwhelming vote for action by RMT Network Rail maintenance staff last week and a vote endorsing strikes by sister union TSSA.
The results of the ballot will now be considered by the RMT executive next Thursday – 25th March – where if there is no resolution to the dispute, action will be called.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“Once again in this ballot RMT members have shown that they back the unions campaign against Network Rail’s cuts programme and the assault on jobs and working conditions that even the Government’s own regulator, the ORR, has said will have severe safety implications out on the tracks.
Nobody should be under any illusions about just how determined RMT members are to win our fight against Network Rail’s cuts programme and to stop this reckless gamble with rail safety. Over 150 MP’s have signed the Early Day Motion opposing Network Rail’s cuts plans and have urged the Government to intervene to call a halt to this jobs carnage on the tracks.
Last week the transport minister Sadiq Khan said in the Commons that it would be “unwise to shed jobs” with the planned expansion of the railways that is underway and we are calling for him to ram that point home with Network Rail.
RMT remains committed to reaching a negotiated settlement with Network Rail based on protecting safety-critical jobs and safe working practices. With the combination of the strike mandates, political and public pressure the focus is now on the company to pull back from the brink and reverse their cuts programme. ”