Rail chaos on 6 July as Network Rail RMT members vote to strike in Cumbria, Lancashire and Scotland

Rail transport chaos is expected early next month after Network Rail workers voted to strike in two separate bonus disputes.

The rail industry’s biggest union, the National Union of Rail Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said that workers in Scotland and Cumbria would be holding 24-hour stoppages on 6 July, following a ballot of members in Scotland and in Cumbria and Lancashire.

The Scottish members voted by 186 to 116 in favour of a strike over a £300 bonus withheld after a strike in March over new shift patterns.

Maintenance workers in Lancashire and Cumbria voted to strike in protest after a £400 cut in bonuses, instigated in the wake of the derailment of a Virgin train at Grayrigg in February. One elderly female passenger died and several others were seriously injured.

Executive directors at the rail company also agreed to defer part of their own bonuses until investigators had determined the cause of the crash. RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “Network Rail has told us it will not negotiate and our choice is either to accept what the bosses say or fight. Our members have chosen to fight.

“Network Rail should take a serious look at the double standards that have resulted in this dispute and think again about its rash refusal to negotiate,” Crow added.

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