Rail union RMT has announced plans for two 48 hour weekend strikes of its members working for engineering firms Jarvis Rail and Fastline in protest over 200 proposed job losses.
RMT said the threat to jobs at the companies is “part of a wider attack” on employment, which could result in thousands of railway workers losing their jobs.
Network Rail’s deferral of nearly a third of its track renewal work has increased the fear of job cut sin the industry.
RMT’s general secretary Bob Crow said: “These strikes are in direct response to the jobs massacre on the railways as the companies involved seek to protect profits at the expense of the workforce and the travelling public.
“RMT will not accept that rail engineers, doing essential work, are cannon fodder who can be hired and fired at the whim of accountants and senior managers. We warned that the deferral of a third of the renewals programme by Network Rail would have disastrous consequences and our fears are proving well founded.”