Following the failure of new discussions between the union and employers, Britain is currently experiencing the second of three national railway strikes.
(AP) LONDON — After new negotiations between the union and employers came to a standstill, Britain will experience its second of three national railway strikes on Thursday.
The 24-hour walkout by 40,000 cleaners, signalers, maintenance workers, and station employees would go as scheduled, according to the Rail, Maritime, and Transport Union, which accused the government of “wrecking” Wednesday’s talks. The union’s action this week is the largest and most upsetting railroad strike in Britain in the last 30 years.
Network Rail, a provider of rail infrastructure, expressed its disappointment over the RMT’s decision to abandon negotiations once more. Day or night, we are always ready for conversations.
As a result of the union’s day-long strike on Tuesday, barely a fifth of passenger trains on the U.K. rail network were operating. On Saturday, there will be another strike.
As British train firms attempt to slash expenses and workers after two years in which emergency government funding kept them afloat, the conflict concentrates on wages, working conditions, and job security.
The union is on strike against 13 independently owned train operating businesses as well as the publicly traded National Rail. The union points out that it has a significant impact on the heavily regulated industry, despite the Conservative government in Britain’s insistence that it is not involved in the issue.
The union is solely responsible for the strike, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
General Secretary Mick Lynch of the railway union claimed that by preventing Network Rail from withdrawing its letter threatening to lay off 2,900 of its members, the government had “wrecked these negotiations.”
Unless the government agreed to “unshackle” the train companies and permit them to offer the union better conditions than the 3% wage hike currently on the table, he claimed, a solution could not be reached. Britain’s inflation rate reached 9.1% in May as the post-pandemic consumer demand surged and supplies of energy and basic foods were constrained by Russia’s conflict in Ukraine.
The government forewarned that significant pay increases would lead to a spiraling wage-price relationship that would raise inflation.
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, called the union’s accusation that he had interfered “a pure fabrication.”
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