Signal workers are to stage a three-day strike from Christmas Eve in a row over career progression, threatening disruption to services, it was announced today.
The Rail Maritime and Transport union said its members based at the West of Scotland signalling centre will walk out for 72 hours from 5.59am on December 24 until 5.58am on the 27th.
The union claimed Network Rail managers had "ripped up" long-standing arrangements under which staff were "slotted" into a post when it becomes vacant.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "RMT has tried to reach a negotiated settlement to this unilateral ripping-up of a local arrangement but unfortunately the management have refused to see sense and RMT members will not stand by while management tear up agreements and practices that have been in place at local level for decades.
"As a consequence of management's intransigence, we have no option but to go ahead with this strike action. RMT members are furious at this refusal to comply with a local arrangement that offers genuine career progression opportunities.
"RMT remains available for talks at any time aimed at resolving this dispute."
The news follows an announcement by the train drivers' union Aslef yesterday of a series of strikes on London Underground in a row over bank holiday pay.
A Network Rail spokesman said: "Network Rail does not consider that any agreements have been breached. We hope that through meaningful dialogue with the RMT a strike can be averted, but we can still run a full service should it take place."