UK could see biggest railway strike in modern history with latest union ballot

UK could see biggest railway strike in modern history with latest union ballot

Over 40,000 railway workers are to be balloted following pay disputes which could lead to the biggest railway strike seen in the UK in modern history.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) stated that staff are going to be asked to vote on whether or not to take strike action over Network Rail’s plans to cut at minimum of 2,500 maintenance jobs across the UK in an effort to reduce over £2bn in network railway expenses, according to reports by The Guardian.

The RMT has stated that this ballot will be the biggest seen for a single dispute since 1990 when the union was formed. The ballot will open on 26, April and close on 24 May, with the possibility of strike action taking place in June. Mick Lynch, the RMT’s general secretary, stated: “Railway workers have had to contend with pay freezes, the prospect of losing their jobs and repeated attacks on their terms and conditions.Removing 2,500 safety-critical jobs from Network Rail will spell disaster for the public, make accidents more likely and will increase the possibility of trains flying off the tracks.

He added that “thousands of railway workers” had seen their living standards “plummet” and had “run out of patience”.

RMT took to twitter to post the news:

Credit: Twitter @RMTunion

Network Rail Regional Director Tim Shoveller expressed disappointment at the decision to strike:“We know travel habits and passenger demand have changed and the industry has to change, too. We cannot keep relying on government handouts, and so we must work together with train operators and our trades unions to save millions of pounds and deliver a more efficient railway.”

The announcement follows the news of the postal strike on May 3 following a large majority of postal workers voting in favour of taking action due to a pay freeze for 2021, an offer of a £250 one time bonus and a mere 2% pay increase from April this year.

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Written by

Joshua Manning

Originally from the UK, Joshua is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at