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Rail guards vote for strike on London Overground

PUBLISHED: 20:04 17 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:11 05 October 2010

NEARLY 300 members of Britain's biggest rail union working on the London Overground have voted overwhelmingly to strike. The vote by 10-to-one announced today is over attempts to introduce driver only' trains on packed commuter lines on the orbital network

By Mike Brooke

NEARLY 300 members of Britain’s biggest rail union working on the London Overground including train crews have voted overwhelmingly to strike.

The vote by 10-to-one announced today (Tuesday) is over attempts to introduce driver only’ trains on packed commuter lines on the orbital network.

The dispute follows what the union says is “a failure to negotiate seriously.”

London Overground won’t confirm verbal assurances that new trains would be staffed by guards with full operational safety role and control of doors, say union negotiators.

BALLOT ONLY OPTION’

“The rail staff have shown exactly how they feel by returning a massive vote for action,” said RMT General Secretary Bob Crow.

“I hope the company now acknowledges the depth of feeling. The range of grievances has mushroomed in recent months to the point where a ballot was the only option.

“We have a complex dispute that needs urgent attention, with the threat of safety being undermined by introducing driver only’ trains on busy commuter lines.”

No date has been set for industrial action, which could affect all Overground services including the busy North London Line from Stratford through Hackney and Willesden Junction.

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