Page last updated at 13:46 GMT, Friday, 4 December 2009

Rail workers plan six-day strike

Hundreds of railway signalling workers are to take six days of strike action in the run-up to Christmas.

Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union based in south Wales and the Marches will walk out from Monday, December 14 until December 19.

It is in protest at the "imposition" of rosters at a control centre due to open in January, and the union said the strikes would cause massive disruption.

But Network Rail said there would be minimal disruption to services.

The train operator said it had contingency plans in place, and the main line in south Wales will be running as normal.

The workers voted 2-1 for the strikes in the ballot.

Staff affected are based in areas including Cardiff, Newport, Port Talbot, Vale of Glamorgan and the Rhymney Valley.

Their support for strike action in this ballot shows just how determined they are to force a management rethink
Bob Crow, RMT union

Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) general secretary Bob Crow said: "Our members are furious at the attempt to bulldoze through rosters at the new south Wales control centre which we believe are all about saving money and which unilaterally rip up existing agreements.

"Their support for strike action in this ballot shows just how determined they are to force a management rethink.

"RMT maintains that the existing 12-hour roster is tried and tested and that the eight-hour roster that Network Rail are trying to impose at the new south Wales control centre when it opens in January will have damaging consequences.

"We remain available for talks and would urge Network Rail to get back around the table to negotiate a settlement to this dispute."

A Network Rail spokesperson had previously said: "We are committed to running a better, more efficient railway and our investment plans for south Wales will help us deliver a more reliable railway for passengers.

"Our doors are always open for constructive discussions with the RMT, to help us bring in the changes we need to deliver the service passengers expect."



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SEE ALSO
Strike ballot over rail rosters
18 Nov 09 |  South East Wales

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