SOME 750 RMT members on South Central trains started a ballot on Tuesday of this week for action over casualisation. The workers are angry at the company's attempt to introduce agency staff at £2,000 a year less than full time revenue protection officers.
RMT assistant general secretary Pat Sikorski said, "This is the thin end of the wedge which would lead to the casualisation of the vast majority of South Central jobs." The ballot of conductors, revenue protection officers, booking office and other staff involved in commercial duties is due to end mid-May.
OVER 7,000 signallers, infrastructure workers and station staff began voting for strikes over pay, pensions and travel facilities this week. The RMT defied threats of legal action by the employers, Network Rail. If the dispute comes to a strike it will be the biggest confrontation in the industry for a decade.
"We are fighting for fairness," says one infrastructure worker. "We want equality of travel facilities, our pension scheme to stay open and a decent pay rise. That's not too much to ask when the government is pumping billions in subsidies into the private rail companies."
Drivers on Midland Mainline forced management to halt the service for hours at the weekend when they held an emergency mass meeting.