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Rail strike moves a step closer.


Disruption faces commuters after members of the biggest rail union yesterday voted in favour of industrial action against Railtrack in a dispute over pay.

Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) yesterday voted 1,595 in favour of strike action, with 1,352 voting against.

The RMT declined to name the strike dates and said that it was seeking urgent talks with Railtrack in an attempt to settle the dispute. The union called for a joint working party to be set up to examine pay and the loss of differentials between Railtrack staff and workers in the rest of the rail industry.

Whilst Railtrack has insisted its pay offer is worth at least nine per cent, the RMT has said that the offer amounts to only five per cent on basic rates, and does not reward past productivity.

Speaking after the vote, general secretary of the RMT, Jimmy Knapp, said: "the narrow yes vote reflects our members view that the pay offer does not address the main question of the loss of differentials between Railtrack staff and the rest of the industry."

The RMT member's ballot had a turnout of 75 per cent.


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