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Last Updated: Monday, 25 June 2007, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
Network Rail staff vote to strike
The train crash in Cumbria
An interim report blamed faulty points for the Grayrigg crash
Network Rail workers in Scotland and Cumbria have voted to strike in two separate rows over bonus payments.

The Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) said the action followed disputes involving more than 500 staff.

They include 119 maintenance workers in Cumbria who had their 400 bonuses withheld following the fatal crash in Grayrigg, near Kendal, in February.

Network Rail said the strikes, the dates for which have not yet been confirmed, were "wholly unnecessary".

The second row involves 400 signallers in Scotland, whose bonuses were docked after they took strike action in March over new shift patterns.

Crash investigation

A spokesman for Network Rail said: "We are disappointed the RMT is taking this approach, which is so wholly unnecessary and will only cause disruption to passengers.

"Those who took strike action in Scotland had a clear understanding at the time that their discretionary bonus would be at risk so it can hardly be surprising that their bonuses were affected.

"It would also be inappropriate to pay a bonus to the maintenance workers in Lancashire and Cumbria before the investigation into what happened at Grayrigg has been completed.

"This does not mean that they won't get it, just that we can't pre-empt the investigation in any way."

The RMT warned that walkouts could spread nationwide and be co-ordinated with strikes by postal workers who are taking action over pay this Friday.

The Scottish train staff voted by 186 to 116 to strike, a majority of 62%, while those based around Grayrigg backed action by 184 to 37, a majority of 83%.

An 84-year-old woman died in February's Cumbria crash when a London to Glasgow Virgin Pendolino train derailed.


SEE ALSO
Rail bonuses strike action looms
21 Jun 07 |  Cumbria
Network Rail bonuses cut by crash
24 May 07 |  Business
Rail strikes formally suspended
15 Mar 07 |  Scotland
Strike ends with hint of movement
09 Mar 07 |  Scotland

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