NETWORK Rail maintenance workers will vote today on whether they will take industrial action and launch the largest rail strike in 16 years.
Up to 12,000 maintenance crew will vote this morning on a possible strike, according to a spokesperson from the National Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union, which is representing the workers.
Similarly, the Transport Salaries Staff Association (TSSA), a separate union, is representing a further 2,000 staff members who will vote tomorrow on a possible strike, Signal operations staff will also vote next week on whether to take industrial action.
Should the vote go through, Network Rail will see 20,000 staff members walk off the job causing delays across the country.
The disputes are over pay, changes to safety working practices and Network Rail’s plans to axe 1,500 jobs.
Both the RMT and TSSA argue that the proposed cuts will severely compromise safety, however Network Rail said its union leaders were standing in the way of necessary modernisation.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We cannot afford the unions to hold the country to ransom. We urge union leadership to think again before they carry out any misguided action that could jeopardise all we have achieved together in transforming the railway. We are happy to discuss any way forward to come to a resolution.”