Britain: Set for Biggest Rail Strike
Kuni .G. Isaac
Britain’s railway network faces its biggest strike action in more than three decades, in a row over pay as soaring inflation erodes earnings this week.
Rail union the RMT believes that more than 50,000 workers will take part in a three-day national strike, corresponding with major events including the Glastonbury music festival.
Schools fear that thousands of teenagers taking national exams will also be affected for the lack of transport system at this moment, though the RMT contends that the strikes are obligatory as wages have failed to keep pace with inflation, which has hit a 40-year high.
passenger traffic also risk jobs as the recorevry process since the lift on the lockdown is still ongoing.
Countries around the world are suffer by decades-high inflation as the Ukraine war and the easing of Covid limitations fuel energy and food price hikes.
The strikes are set for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in the biggest dispute on Britain’s railway network since 1989, according to the RMT.
The union has also announced a 24-hour walkout of its members on the Tube, London’s underground railway network, planned for Tuesday.
Rail operators, however, warn of disruption throughout the week – with lines not affected by strike action nevertheless reducing services.
“Talks have not progressed as far as I had hoped and so we must prepare for a needless national rail strike and the damaging impact it will have,” said Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail, which looks after the country’s rail tracks.
“We, and our train operating colleagues, are gearing up to run the best service we can for passengers and freight users next week despite the actions of the RMT.”
The strikes will likely compound travel chaos in the aviation sector, after airlines were forced to cut flights due to staff shortages, causing long delays and frustration for passengers.
Thousands of workers were sacked in the aviation industry during the pandemic but the sector is now struggling to recruit workers as travel demand rebounds following the lifting of lockdowns.
(AFP) – rthk.hk)