The UK could face a “summer of discontent” as members of the union TSSA working for Network Rail are to vote on a potential strike action.
The TSSA announced 6,000 of its members will vote whether to walk out over pay, conditions and job security.
Opened today, the ballot will close on 11 July and if successful, the vote could lead to strike action as early as 25 July.
“We could be seeing a Summer of discontent across our railways if Network Rail don’t see sense and come to the table to face the concerns of their staff,” said TSSA’s general secretary Manuel Cortes.
“It’s frankly ridiculous that we’re being forced to ballot. Network Rail only responded to our requests for pay talks – made before Christmas – when we moved the issue to dispute in April and have dragged their heels at every stage.
“Our members have had enough. Make no mistake, we are preparing for all options, including coordinated strike action.”
The union has asked Network Rail to guarantee that no compulsory redundancies will be made for the rest of 2022, as well as to adapt salaries to the cost-of-living crisis.
“Network Rail staff are asking for basic fair treatment: not to be sacked from their jobs; a fair pay rise in the face of a cost-of-living-crisis; and no race to the bottom on terms and conditions,” Cortes added.
The TSSA’s strike could be the latest to impact the UK’s railway network, after more than 50,000 railway workers across different unions are set to walk out on the following dates: 21, 23, 25, 28, 29 June and 13, 14 July.