Rail firm workers in fresh strike ballot

Workers at a second rail company are to be balloted for strikes in another row over pay, it was announced today.

The Rail Maritime and Transport union said its members at Merseyrail, excluding guards and drivers, will be urged to support industrial action in the voting, which ends on November 30.

The union said lengthy pay negotiations with Merseyrail had ended with two "derisory" offers being rejected by RMT members.

General secretary Bob Crow said: "It is crystal-clear to us from the failure of the negotiations that what drives Merseyrail is not a wish to reward the hard work and loyalty to the staff but an escalating desire for bigger profits to line the pockets of the shareholders.

"RMT is sending out a clear message today that this situation can no longer be tolerated. Without the hard work of our members, there would be no company profits and it's high time that Merseyrail recognised that.

"We are calling on our members for an overwhelming Yes vote for industrial action, and industrial action short of a strike that will force Merseyrail management to get back round the table and put forward a decent pay rise that properly rewards their staff."

The RMT is also balloting its members at Arriva Trains Wales for industrial action, while the train drivers' union Aslef has announced that its members at the Welsh firm will walk out on November 19, 26 and 27, with other dates for action to be announced later, also over pay.