First five days of strike on British rail

Another train strike began in the UK on Tuesday, the 1,000th in the past six months.

On average, about half of the lines will be served over the next five days, with only 20 percent of the trains scheduled. Travelers are advised to choose an alternative mode of transportation. In some regions, such as Wales and Scotland, there are almost no trains at all.

About 40,000 members of the rail union RMT, who work for network manager Network Rail, but also in 14 private rail companies, are on strike for two 48-hour shifts.

Train drivers affiliated with the predecessor union are adding another strike day.

Further delays are expected on Sunday. Eurostar, which operates between Brussels and London, has also modified its services.

With their action, the strikers are demanding higher wages to offset inflation, which fluctuates at about 11 percent, but also better working conditions. The RMT trade union accuses the government of “doing little” to defuse the social conflict. Network Rail called on the British to take the train only when absolutely necessary.

On Tuesday, Britain’s transport minister denounced the strike as “completely useless and harmful to the sector and its workers”. According to Minister Mark Harper, the proposal for a collective labor agreement is on the table and is being accepted by two of the three unions. “It is time for RMT to leave its positions and try to reach an agreement,” he said.

There will be another meeting next week. In the UK, there have been frequent strikes in various sectors in recent months to increase purchasing power. For example, postmen, nurses and paramedics have stopped working. Over the course of last Christmas, the Border Police took action, forcing the government to deploy the army.

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Amber Webster

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