Rail workers vote to strike over maintenance job cuts fears

Railway workers across the country have voted in favour of strike action following fears that Network Rail plans to cut 2,500 maintenance staff.

The Enquirer revealed major cost saving plans last month as Network Rail chiefs prepare to transition to Great British Railways next year.

Unions fear Network rail is planning to scrap the front-line ‘operative’ role, abandon certain pieces of maintenance work and reduce the size of teams who maintain Britain’s railways.

The RMT union has now revealed that 71% of its members balloted took part in the vote with 89% voting in favour of strike action and only 11% voting against.

The RMT described the vote as “the biggest endorsement for industrial action by railway workers since privatisation.”

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch: “Today’s overwhelming endorsement by railway workers is a vindication of the union’s approach and sends a clear message that members want a decent pay rise, job security and no compulsory redundancies.

“Our NEC will now meet to discuss a timetable for strike action from mid-June, but we sincerely hope ministers will encourage the employers to return to the negotiating table and hammer out a reasonable settlement with the RMT.”

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