Major travel turmoil hits British passengers as a crippled service on rail strikes


British train passengers faced a deserted station and travel turmoil on Tuesday at what is known as “the biggest railroad strike in modern history.”

Tens of thousands of railroad workers went out because the railroad operator and the Railroad, Shipping and Transportation Trade Union (RMT) were unable to resolve disputes over wages, employment security and working conditions.

The three-day strike on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday involved more than 40,000 RMT members and 13 operators and was expected to affect 80% of the UK’s overall service.

Operators who are not involved in the strike are also affected by the network rail traffic lights being on strike.

Many in the UK do not have all-day passenger trains on Tuesdays, and service is severely restricted to trunk lines that operate for a limited time.

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At King’s Cross St Pancras Subway Station in London, members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union launched a national strike with London Underground workers on June 21, 2022, in a fierce debate over wages, jobs and conditions. The barrier has gone down. (Ian West / PA Media)

Londoners were told to avoid traveling if possible because they closed the capital’s basement and other transportation services on another day’s strike.

The London Overground and the new Elizabeth line will also be affected by the National Railways strike for the rest of the week, as some of the services use National Railways assets.

More cars, cyclists and pedestrians were out on the road on Tuesday morning. Hospital staff said some colleagues slept at work overnight to maintain care.

The strike is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pressured to do more to help the Britons facing the hardest economic blow in decades. He said it would hurt the company in which he is.

Trade unions say railroad strikes could mark the beginning of a “summer of dissatisfaction” for teachers, health workers, waste disposal workers, and even varistor heading for industrial activity as inflation rises by 10%. He said he had sex.

“British workers need a salary increase,” RMT Secretary-General Mick Lynch told Sky News. “They need employment security and decent conditions.”

According to the RMT, railroad operators are proposing a 2% salary increase, and if the union considers the proposed headcount reduction and efficiency reforms, an additional 1% salary increase is possible and the required 7%. Much lower than the salary increase.

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Transport Minister Grant Shapps (3rd R) has heard Prime Minister Boris Johnson peak at the start of the Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London on June 21, 2022. (Carl Court / PA Media)

Transport Minister Grant Shapps accused the union of leaving the negotiating table when “there was an offer to pay at the table and headcount reductions were generally voluntary.”

He told Sky News that the government is planning legislation to protect travelers from future turmoil by introducing measures such as minimum service levels.

“That means that on days like today, we need to make changes to perform certain levels of service and allow transferable workers. This is what we can take. It’s a much quicker change that can be done, “he said.

“We will ensure that the law is firmly on the passenger side for future strikes, not just current strikes, but one of the ways is transferable, as you call it. Skills, or through agency workers. “

RMT members of the picketing line were skeptical of the plan, saying there was no supply of trained agency workers to perform the service safely.

When asked about the plan, Chaps told Time Radio that it was about “transferable staff.”

“That is, if someone is sitting in front of one computer in the control room of the network rail, that person can move to the next machine and do a fully qualified job, but at the moment. So the union keeps this from happening, so that’s about that, “he said.

Johnson said the strike is “wrong and unnecessary” and the message to the country needs to be “maintaining the course” as it is in the public’s interest to improve the way rail operates. Said.

The government said last week that railroads need to be reformed as they not only compete with other means of transportation, but are also a “fight against zoom, teams and remote work.”

He also said that during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus outbreak, £ 16 billion of taxpayer funds were invested to keep railroad workers working. In some parts of 2020 and 2021, public transport was almost empty as people were told to work from home if possible and not go out without good reason.

However, the union said that the tens of millions of pounds paid to railroad operators under the pandemic were paid as dividends to foreign investors.

Amanda Testa, Bristol’s RMT branch secretary, said on Tuesday that the strike was “about the fact that COVID is being used as a reason not to give us salary increases and COVID costs while keeping profits protected.” Stated.

She explained that the 2% salary increase offered was “insulting” in the light of current inflation, and was used by strong employees to accept pension reforms and changes in contract terms. Said.

In a survey conducted by pollster YouGov earlier this month, public opinion was divided, with about half of those asked opposed to the action and more than a third said it was upheld.

Reuters and PA Media contributed to this report.

Lily Chow


Lily Zhou is a freelance writer who mainly covers the British news of The Epoch Times.