Train users face rail strike threat

TRAIN users in Suffolk and Essex could be faced with more disruption if rail workers decide to go on strike over job cuts, it has emerged this morning.

TRAIN users in Suffolk and Essex could be faced with more disruption if rail workers decide to go on strike over job cuts, it has emerged this morning.

The Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) has announced that thousands of workers at four companies - including National Express East Anglia - will be balloted over whether to take industrial action.

The move could cause the worst disruption on the railways for years including the prospect of strikes on the busy Norwich to London commuter route into London.

The union said it will coordinate a ballot among more than 3,500 workers at National Express East Anglia, South West Trains and First Capital Connect over job cuts while around 300 of its members at London Overground will vote on whether to take industrial action over claims that industrial relations have broken down at the company.

Voting in all four ballots will start on March 3 and close on March 17.

The RMT claim that more than 1,000 jobs are being cut at the three companies - even though they have made healthy profits.

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General secretary Bob Crow said: “Our members are facing industry-wide attacks on their jobs by train operators who between them have siphoned tens of millions of pounds out of the railways and our only possible response is to co-ordinate resistance to them.”

Mr Crow said the job losses represented a “full-scale onslaught” which he warned would affect services as well as safety on the railways.

National Express East Anglia plans to cut 300 jobs, South West Trains has announced around 660 job losses, while First Capital Connect is also threatening cuts.