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UK: Network rail, potential strike Mar 23-28

UK train users could be hit with travel woes over the Easter holiday weekend as Network Rail engineers plan to strike for four days in a row over back payments.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) union claimed National Rail bosses refused to enter into talks over the company’s alleged failure to pay annual bonuses to around 80 maintenance and safety staff.

The workers have overwhelmingly voted (80%) in favour of walking out between 24 March to 28 March. The TSSA said the industrial action is likely to disrupt services to both Virgin East Coast and West Coast mainline traffic and all Northern, Transpennine and Cross Country services.

“We are sorry that National Rail are letting the dispute escalate and impact both our passengers and our scheduled maintenance work will now have to be rescheduled to other, even less convenient times,” declared Manuel Cortes, the general secretary of the TSSA.

“But Network Rail have repeatedly failed to give professional and procedural courtesy to this small dedicated team of highly-skilled engineering graduates.

“These staff are proud of the work they do and by complying with continuous in-job training requirements they have helped ensure Britain has one of the finest rail passenger safety records in the world.”