The UK has announced a new law to mitigate strike turmoil as the rail network is paralyzed twice a week.


The UK government has announced a new law that will allow government workers to supply government workers to fill shortages during industrial activities as train operations are re-suspended by the second national strike this week. Did.

Following the widespread travel turmoil on Tuesday, approximately 40,000 members of the Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers’ Union (RMT) are expected to leave again on Thursday and strike again on Saturday.

After the railroad operator refused to agree to the union’s request, including a 7% salary increase, union leaders announced what they advertised as “the biggest railroad strike in modern history.”

On Thursday, the government announced new measures to help reduce strike confusion by removing restrictions on companies supplying dispatched workers to cover strike staff.

“Not sustainable”

The move will overturn the legal restrictions introduced under former Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair, which prevents employers from hiring agency workers to supplement strike staff.

The government said existing restrictions “can have disproportionate effects, including important public services, and cause serious turmoil in Britain’s economy and society.”

Secretary of Commerce Kwasi Kwaten said: Our situation is not sustainable. “

“By removing the restrictions, businesses will have quick access to fully skilled staff, while at the same time allowing people to continue to live uninterrupted and keep the economy running,” he said. rice field.

“A large number of hard-working families and businesses have been unfairly affected by the union’s refusal to modernize,” said Transport Minister Grant Shapps. “Future strikes will not cause further confusion.” Guarantee. “

Network Rail, which governs Britain’s rail network, welcomed the new law, but opposition Labor and unions accused it of being a “disaster recipe.”

Millions of people working at home

The main train station was much quieter than usual on Thursday as the service stopped working due to a strike. Only one in five trains runs, most are restricted to trunk lines, and about half of the network is closed.

But Mr. Chaps said, “Despite the radical union leaders’ best efforts to stall our country, this week’s strike did not have the desired impact as more people could work from home. That’s clear. “

Broadband provider Virgin Media O2 said it recorded a usage increase of up to 10% on the first day of the strike on Tuesday, showing that “millions of people are working from home” this week.

Frankbird, senior highway network planner, said Thursday morning highway and major A road traffic surged as train passengers switched to road transport during a railroad strike. “It was very good,” he said, even though he was afraid before.

He states: [from the COVID-19 pandemic] We have learned to work in different ways. It’s a very different situation because people work from home. Despite the ongoing rail conflict, people can still continue to work. “

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan