Wednesday 23 Jun 2004


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At around 11am this morning Network Rail applied to the high court for an injunction against the RMT to prevent strike action proceeding next week.  Network Rail has decided that it must act in the interests of passengers to prevent damaging strike action and ensure trains keep running. John Armitt, Chief Executive, said: “We will do whatever we can to prevent passengers and freight customers from suffering the consequences of this unnecessary and potentially damaging strike action.  We have a duty to keep trains running, building on recent performance improvements, and are now in a position where we have to challenge the ballot in the high court. “We believe we have a very good case, as the information provided to us by the RMT has clearly been inaccurate and deficient. This has always been a possibility but with little time remaining to reach a negotiated settlement we believe the time has come for decisive action to protect the travelling public.” The application to the high court looks to have all five Network Rail RMT ballots overturned - the main ballot of 4,700 signalling and operations employees and four separate maintenance areas accounting for a further 3,100. The injunction will be sought under the Trade Unions and Labour Relations Consolidation Act 1992 citing the following issues: - more - Legal – 2 ·        Almost 1,000 RMT members the union were balloting were listed at locations that either no longer existed (one closed ¼ century ago) or were ‘unknown’ ·        70 staff were on the RMTs ballot list who could not possibly work for Network Rail, such as platform cleaning staff ·        It is questionable whether the union were able to distinguish ballot papers between the five separate voting units (signaller + 4 different maintenance areas) ·        The RMT did not advise the Company in a reasonable timescale of the results of the ballot, with an interval of four days between the signalling ballot closing and the result being advised. A normal timescale is one working day

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