Rail workers in Britain will stage a national strike later this month in a dispute over pay, the RMT union announced on Friday, teeing up a move that could bring misery to millions of commuters.
The union said its 16,000 staff at Network Rail, which maintains Britain’s railway infrastructure, including track and signalling, would stage a 24-hour walk-out starting at 1600 GMT on May 25, which is a public holiday, continuing into May 26, which is a normal working day.
It would be the first nationwide rail strike for 20 years according to media reports, and will provide a challenge to the new Conservative government which has promised to change laws on industrial action to make it harder for those working in essential public services to stage walk-outs.
“The failure of the company to make any moves whatsoever in light of the overwhelming vote in the ballot has left us with no option but to move to a rolling programme of industrial action,” RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said.
On Tuesday, the union said 80 percent of members had backed strikes and that 92 percent supported action short of a walk-out.
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