Page last updated at 18:17 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:17 UK

Rail workers vote to go on strike

Workers at the main train operator providing services in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex are to go on strike.

The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and Aslef workers at National Express East Anglia will strike for 48 hours on 30 July, 6, 13 and 20 August.

RMT leader Bob Crow said members were "determined to fight for a decent pay rise and decent working conditions".

A spokesman for National Express said it was "extremely disappointed" the strikes had been called.

Mr Crow added: "RMT members are not prepared to be the victims of the National Express franchise chaos and they are determined to fight for a decent pay rise and for decent working conditions.

'Constructive discussions'

"This company has made half a billion in profits out of our members over the past decade, it's a scandal that they are offering their staff peanuts in return."

National Express said it had taken part in "lengthy negotiations" and had offered the unions a salary increase above the rate of inflation.

"In the present economic environment - where many companies are freezing pay at current levels - we believe the offers we have made are both realistic and appropriate," a spokesman said.

"Strike action is not the solution and it will only result in difficult times for our customers.

"We are available at any time for constructive discussions with the unions to find a resolution to this year's pay award."

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