Strike in the railway service paralyzes the United Kingdom | News
Much of Britain came to a halt on Tuesday in the biggest strike to hit the country’s railways in 30 years, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the sector needed to modernize or “go bankrupt.”
British railway workers organize a strike in defense of jobs
Train passengers across the country have been forced to stay home after warnings to avoid all but essential travel, with only a fifth of major trains expected to run and many lines to close entirely.
With only essential services running for commuters from London and other cities, there were no trains on large sections of the network during the morning rush hour, in a context in which the prime minister called on “union barons to sit down with Network Rail and the train companies” to agree on reforms such as the phasing out of ticket offices.
From the RMT railway union that is organizing the strike, Mick Lynch explained that the protest includes 40,000 employees of the owner of the Network Rail infrastructure and the staff of 13 train operating companies, as well as that his priority was to reach an agreement that would guarantee that there would be no compulsory redundancies.
Nonetheless, Network Rail wrote to the union late on Monday announcing plans to consult on the 1,800 job losses and changes to working practices. The public body said it expected that the “vast majority” of job losses could be voluntary.
RMT leadership is also pushing for salary increases of 7 to 8 per cent to offset inflation which is expected to hit 11 per cent this year.
Network Rail and train operators hope to restart talks on Wednesday, but the union said that while it was open to talks, it had not received a formal invitation. That is why more strikes are planned for Thursday and Saturday.
Boris Johnson on Monday responded to the biggest rail strikes in a generation with plans to break industrial action by allowing companies to bring in agency staff, a move unions have denounced as unworkable, unsafe and potentially in breach of international law. .