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Threat of action looms

The RMT has confirmed that a ballot for national industrial action involving Network Rail maintenance staff will begin on Thursday 25th February.

According to the union, the move has been prompted by the threat of redundancies as part of a national drive to axe more than 1400 jobs, a failure to follow existing redeployment procedures, a threat to use external contractors to carry out existing in-house maintenance work and a failure to communicate planned changes as part of the company's ongoing maintenance reorganisation. The ballot will be run in parallel with a vote by sister rail union TSSA.

The RMT has issued repeated warnings that "the rail maintenance jobs massacre will threaten the safety of passengers".

General Secretary Bob Crow said "We are balloting for a national strike because we know that the threat to axe jobs and compromise safety standards makes another Hatfield, Potters Bar or Grayrigg disaster on the UK rail network inevitable."

"I have no doubt that the British people will understand that you cannot take reckless gambles with rail safety in the name of 'efficiency'and to hit financial targets on the bottom of a balance sheet." cannot take reckless gambles with rail safety...

Story added 22nd February 2010

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