IN BRIEF Rail commuters face summer of strikes

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Rail commuters face summer of strikes

Commuters were threatened with a summer of disruption on British Rail and London Underground as employees' leaders yesterday predicted substantial votes in favour of industrial action in protest at pay offers below the rate of inflation.

Leaders of 12,000 members of the train drivers' union, Aslef, at British Rail expressed confidence that their members had backed 24-hour strikes over a proposed settlement of 3 per cent. The result of the vote, due on Monday, will be followed on Friday by the close of a ballot conducted by RMT, the largest rail union. On the same day RMT leaders will announce the result of a vote at London Underground where the wage offer stands at 2.75 per cent.

By law, industrial action has to take place within 28 days of a ballot result, so the first 24-hour stoppage is expected to take place by the end of the month.