Thousands more train workers to be balloted for strikes, trade union announces
The action comes as workers continue to dispute pay, jobs and conditions
Thousands more workers at Network Rail are to be balloted for strikes in escalating disputes over pay, jobs and conditions, the TSSA union announced.
The trade union says it has served notice to ballot over 6,000 staff for action.
Members are being asked to cast two votes, one on strike action and another on action short of strike.
Ballots open on June 20 and close on July 11, with the TSSA warning that strike action could take place as early as July 25 in the event of a yes vote.
TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: “We could be seeing a Summer of discontent across our railways if Network Rail don’t see sense and come to the table to face the concerns of their staff.
“Network Rail staff are asking for basic fair treatment: not to be sacked from their jobs; a fair pay rise in the face of a cost-of-living-crisis; and no race to the bottom on terms and conditions.
“Fat cat bosses have so far refused these completely reasonable requests, leaving us with no option other than to ballot for industrial action, something which is always a last resort.
“It’s frankly ridiculous that we’re being forced to ballot. Network Rail only responded to our requests for pay talks – made before Christmas – when we moved the issue to dispute in April and have dragged their heels at every stage.
“Our members have had enough. Make no mistake, we are preparing for all options, including coordinated strike action.”
It comes as many of the country's train lines look set for major disruption starting next week.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has announced a Tube strike on June 21, while its members at Network Rail and 13 train operators will walk out on June 21, 23 and 25.
Members of Unite at Transport for London (TfL) and London Underground will join the walkout on June 21 in growing disputes over pay, jobs and pensions.