By a RMT member
Talks have broken down between the railworkers' Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and employers Network Rail over pay, pensions and travel facilities.
The RMT executive will meet soon to discuss a national ballot of the union's 7,000 Network Rail members, who include signalling, maintenance and station staff.
"The company has imposed a pension scheme for new entrants that is no better than a glorified savings plan subject to the whims of the market," said RMT general secretary Bob Crow.
"Their pay offer of 3% is the lowest in the rail industry, and they have refused to follow the Mayor of London's lead and re-instate travel facilities to staff who joined the railway after privatisation in 1996.
"This is a company whose directors have handed themselves bonuses of up to £450,000, on top of telephone-number salaries, and which boasts of spending £14 million a day
"[RMT members] left in the old final-salary pension scheme are destined to pay ever-increasing costs as the scheme is left to wither on the vine.
"We will not sit back and watch as our members are made to pay the price of privatisation, and we will not tolerate a two-tier workforce."