One-day railway strike called over job cuts

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A NATIONAL day of disruption is likely on 2 April after leaders of 68,000 railway workers called a 24- hour strike yesterday to coincide with a stoppage by miners and a demonstration by public sector workers, writes Barrie Clement.

Unless talks today between British Rail and the RMT union avert the action, it is highly unlikely that any trains will run that Friday - BR's busiest day of the week. The train drivers' union Aslef and white collar union TSSA have not held ballots, but RMT members, who voted by a decisive margin for action, control the signalling network.

Plans will be finalised today for a march in London on 2 April which will be led by uniformed public sector workers, including firefighters who are to hold a strike ballot over the Government's refusal to honour their automatic pay mechanism.

BR said that less than 40 per cent of RMT members had voted for action, over threatened compulsory redundancies. Referring to a series of successful 24-hour strikes four years ago, Jimmy Knapp, GMT general secretary, said: 'The British Railways Board are in danger of making the same mistake they made in 1989 of underestimating the mood of the workforce.'

Ballot details, page 3