THE RMT rail union has called a strike ballot for its 7,000 members in Network Rail in a dispute over pay and pensions. The vote will include signalling, maintenance and station staff. "The company has imposed a pension scheme for new entrants that is no better than a glorified savings plan subject to the whims of the market," says RMT general secretary Bob Crow. "In addition their pay offer of 3 percent is the lowest in the rail industry. This is a company whose directors have handed themselves bonuses of up to £450,000 on top of telephone-number salaries. Those same directors are looking at another fat bonus if they keep our members' pay down."
17 April 2004