Transport Salaried Staffs Association chiefs have served notice to ballot more than 400 workers at West Midlands Trains London Northwestern Railway and East Midlands Railway in a dispute over pay, conditions and job security.
West Midlands Trains operates London Northwestern Railway services between London, Birmingham and the North West via Northampton.
Members of RMT are already poised to walk out on three days later this month, crippling the national rail network.
TSSA is demanding a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for 2022, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions, and a pay increase — some members’ first since 2019 — which reflects the rising cost of living.
Its 269 West Midlands Trains members includes control staff at Rugby and managers and staff covering Northampton as well as some at HQ in Birmingham.
Another 169 members in East Midlands Railway work across control, management, customer service, station and revenue protection roles, and includes the lowest paid staff earning around £18,000 a year.
The union says action by control staff would bring services to halt while action by managers would affect cover for drivers and other roles. Action by customer service staff would have potential impact on ticket sales and refunds.
Voting on industrial action starts on Thursday (June 16) until July 7.
TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “Our members at East Midlands Railway and West Midlands Trains deserve a pay rise and job security.
"These companies need to face the concerns of their staff and tell their paymasters in government that widespread rail disruption is on the cards.
“Rail workers are seeking basic fair treatment, not to be sacked from their jobs. A fair pay rise in the face of a cost-of-living-crisis and no race to the bottom on terms and conditions.
“Unless these demands are met, we could be seeing a Summer of discontent across our railways.
“Make no mistake, we are preparing for all options, including coordinated strike action which would bring trains to a halt.”