Greater Anglia rail staff Olympic strike ballot

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A ballot of East Anglia rail workers is to take place in a row over extra payments for working during the Olympic Games, a union has said.

Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union members at Greater Anglia will vote on whether to take industrial action.

The union said proposals from the company for Olympic payment arrangements were "divisive".

Greater Anglia said it had not been informed of the ballot and would continue "constructive discussions".

The company operates services in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, along with parts of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

'Cavalier attitude'

Bob Crow, general secretary of the union, said: "We now have no option but to move to an urgent ballot for both strike action and action short of a strike to reinforce our case for a fair and unified settlement.

"There can be no excuse for the cavalier attitude of the company to these negotiations on an essential section of the Olympics transport network."

A spokesman for Greater Anglia said: "We're surprised to hear that the RMT are intending to organise a ballot as we have not received any formal notification from the union of their intention to do so.

"We will continue to progress the constructive discussions that are taking place over this matter with the RMT and our staff representatives."

No details were given of what the company has offered the union, which has struck deals with several transport firms for extra payment during the Games starting in London next month.

Thousands of bus workers are set to strike on Friday in pursuit of a claim for a £500 Olympic payment, threatening travel chaos in London.

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