UK rail workers to stage national strike this month

LONDON - Rail workers in Britain will stage a national strike later this month in a dispute over pay, the RMT union announced on Friday, teeing up a move that could bring chaos to millions of commuters.

The union said its 16,000 staff at Network Rail, which maintains Britain's railway infrastructure, including track and signalling, would stage a 24-hour walk-out starting at 1600 GMT on May 25.

Its members would also refuse to work any overtime or extended shifts for 48 hours from May 25, it said.

"The failure of the company to make any moves whatsoever in light of the overwhelming vote in the ballot has left us with no option but to move to a rolling programme of industrial action," RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said.

On Tuesday, the union said 80 per cent of members working for the not-for-profit company had backed strikes and that 92 per cent supported action short of a walk-out.