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Rail workers set to strike over job cuts

PUBLISHED: 10:54 18 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:22 03 July 2010

RAIL passengers could face widespread disruption after workers at two rail companies voted to take industrial action in separate disputes over job losses.

RAIL passengers could face widespread disruption after workers at two rail companies voted to take industrial action in separate disputes over job losses.

The Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) said its members at First Capital Connect and National Express East Anglia, both of which run services in the region, had voted in favour of strikes in protest at job cuts.

The union's executive will now decide the next move, but there is the threat of co-ordinated strikes.

In a separate row over industrial relations, almost 300 RMT members at London Overground voted by 10-1 for industrial action.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT, said: “Our members at National Express East Anglia and First Capital Connect have struck a blow against selfish employers who are seeking to slash jobs solely to maintain profits and dividends.

“The RMT will meet shortly to decide on the shape of action our members will take if the employers fail to withdraw these damaging and completely unnecessary cuts.

“The scale of job cuts planned by operators across the railways threatens to undermine services, safety and the very fabric of an industry that is crucial to our economy and environment, and it is vital that they are stopped.”

Workers at First Capital Connect voted by more than 3-1 for strike action while those at National Express East Anglia supported strikes by 2-1.

National Express East Anglia operates services from Norwich to London Liverpool Street, Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Cromer and Cambridge and Peterborough, while First Capital Connect runs services to King's Cross from King's Lynn.

London Overground, which may co-ordinate any strike action, runs on the Richmond to Stratford; Clapham Junction to Willesden Junction; Gospel Oak to Barking and Watford Junction to Euston lines.

Members at South West Trains voted narrowly against industrial action following claims that bosses suspended a pay rise and told staff they would get less redundancy pay if they voted for action.

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