Railway workers to vote on strike action
Rail workers on some of London’s busiest commuter routes are to be balloted for strike action over threats to jobs as train operators move to cut costs in the face of the recession and slower passenger growth.
The call by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union for industrial action threatens some of the most serious disruption to commuter networks for years.
The union is to ballot more than 3,500 workers at South West Trains, First Capital Connect and National Express East Anglia over plans to cut more than 1,000 jobs. A further 300 RMT workers at London Overground will vote on whether to strike over claims that industrial relations have broken down at the company.
Voting in all four ballots will start on March 3 and close on March 17. The RMT accused train companies of cutting jobs and reducing opening hours at ticket offices when they were still making healthy profits.
The union said more than 1,000 jobs were being cut at South West Trains, First Capital Connect and National Express East Anglia and that companies had “failed to provide unequivocal assurances that there will be no forced job losses”.
Meanwhile, concerns have been raised over the cost of rail fares in the UK as compared to mainland Europe.