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Rail unions to strike after Easter

Rail workers unions will strike for the first time in 16 years for the four days following Easter.

Millions of passengers will be hit by the walkout announced by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA).

The move against planned job cuts and changes to working practices at Network Rail will see signallers, maintenance workers and supervisors strike work from 6 April, immediately after the long Easter weekend.

The action by the RMT Union and the TSSA could be called off if negotiations with Network Rail, the infrastructure owner, are successful. Network Rail and the unions have failed to reach agreement as yet. In a joint conference, the unions said signallers and maintenance workers would strike between 6am to 10am and again from 6pm to 10pm.

Network Rail said the action would have a "severe impact" on its operations, with only about 20 per cent trains able to run, but it could withstand the strike.