RMT and Network Rail Begin Talks

18 March 2010 (Last Updated March 18th, 2010 18:30)

Talks between the UK's Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMT) and Network Rail began on 18 March to prevent thousands of staff from going on strike. The workers are protesting against proposals for job cuts and a change in working practices to allow more maintenance work to be carried

Talks between the UK's Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMT) and Network Rail began on 18 March to prevent thousands of staff from going on strike.

The workers are protesting against proposals for job cuts and a change in working practices to allow more maintenance work to be carried out at weekends.

The RMT's maintenance workers and other transport association members have already voted to go on strike against the job losses.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said the union will seek an agreement with Network Rail to end compulsory redundancies among safety-critical maintenance staff and put the safety and security of railways above the drive to slash budgets.

"We have secured public and political support for RMT's campaign, alongside a mandate from our members for action to reverse these cuts," Crow said.