Unions attack delay in rail talks

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Leaders of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union attacked Railtrack management for delaying until today the start of negotiations aimed at avoiding another 24-hour strike by signal operators next Wednesday. A Railtrack spokesman said the interval was necessary to assess the situation and arrange a negotiating team.

The company has offered the 4,000 signal operators an increase of 2.5 per cent in common with the rest of the industry. It is insisting on changes in working practices and refuses to award an increase for productivity improvements already made.