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RMT to reballot after rail strike is blocked

Bob Crow has vowed to re-ballot members after the planned national rail strike was blocked by the Hi

A High Court judge has granted Network Rail a temporary injunction against a planned rail strike, after the rail operator complained of irregularities in the conduct of a ballot by the workers union.

The ruling blocks the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union's planned four-day rail stoppage next week by signal workers, thus halting Britain's first national rail strike in 16 years.

Justice Victoria Sharp issued the order after infrastructure owner Network Rail successfully argued of inconsistencies in the strike ballot called by the union.

Bob Crow, the RMT's general secretary, said the judgement was "an attack on the whole trade union movement" and that the executive would recommend re-balloting.

Crow denied that there had been any manipulation, as the vote was carried out by the independent Electoral Reform Society. He called the judgement "an attack on the whole trade union movement".

The RMT general secretary also said the injunction was only granted because of minor administrative issues over voters' location and work grade.

Both RMT and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) announced that fresh ballots would be held after the court ruling by Justice Sharp.

This dispute is over 1,300 planned job cuts and changes to working conditions. The industrial action would have caused disruption to rail services affecting millions of commuters.

It would also have been deeply embarrassing for prime minister Gordon Brown, starting on the day he is expected to announce a general election.
Union leaders said they would re-ballot workers over the Network Rail plan.