RAILWAY staff at First Great Western, including workers in Swindon, will be balloted for strike action, according to the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT).

The issues behind the ballot centre on agency work, contracts, dismissals and disciplinary procedures.

RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash said its members would be asked if they are prepared to take part in some form of industrial action, up to and including a strike.

“We want to see a collective agreement regarding the use of both agency and contract workers,” said Mr Cash.

“We also want the company to end its use of zero hour contracts, which we believe are exploitative and leave workers with no guarantee of what they will earn.”

The union has approximately 2,000 members working for FGW, including drivers and onboard crew, who pass through Swindon every day.

“We have been around the table extensively over the past six months and we have meetings scheduled with the RMT leadership next week,” a FGW spokesman said.

“In the meantime, we would be delighted if the RMT could share a formal response to the package of proposals we gave them in January, so we can better understand how we might be able to move forward with some urgency.”