Network Rail, British Gas set to strike

NETWORK Rail and British Gas joined the ranks of British Airways (BA) yesterday after staff at the two companies voted in favour of a strike action.

Network Rail sat down with the Rail, Maritime & Transport (RMT) union yesterday to come to an agreement over a proposal by the rail operator to cut 1,500 maintenance jobs.

Maintenance and signal staff voted to launch an industrial action should Network Rail follow through with its proposed cuts, deeming it unsafe.

“There is already a shortage of staff and to be axing maintenance posts and lumping extra work onto signallers under these circumstances is a reckless gamble with rail safety,” said Bob Crow, RMT general secretary.

Similarly, British Gas engineers yesterday voted 82 per cent in favor of strike action over “macho management bullying” according to trade union, GMB.

GMB has given management a week to respond to the threatened walk out, while a spokesperson from British Gas said: “We have robust contingency plans in place to make sure our service to customers is unaffected, and we remain committed to talking with the GMB.”

The news comes days after BA cabin crew concluded the first of two walkout periods on Monday, with the second to start 27 March.

The airline said it plans to operate 70 per cent of its long haul and 55 per cent of its short haul flights from Heathrow during the four day strike.

BA and Unite, the union representing the striking cabin crew, have yet to come to an agreement.

3,700 British Gas engineers voted on strike.

20,000 Network Rail staff voted on strike.

12,000 BA staff voted on a strike.