More than 700 workers at rail freight company DB Schenker are to be balloted for strike action in a row over jobs and working conditions, it was announced today.
The Rail Maritime and Transport union said it will urge its members to give a mandate for action after claiming there had been a breakdown in industrial relations.
General secretary Bob Crow said: "We have sought assurances from DB Schenker that there will be no compulsory redundancies, that it will lift the threat of regrading and stop the introduction of casualisation.
"On all counts the company has failed, but has instead proposed a pay freeze and possible pay cuts, as well as refusing to honour the existing pay award."
The union also announced that 250 of its members employed by Nexus on the Tyne and Wear Metro are to be balloted for strikes in a separate row over jobs and conditions.