Massive British train strike over inflation

Massive British train strike over inflation

British railways are almost at a standstill on Saturday after key railway unions decided to launch a new day of collective mobilization, the biggest strike of the year, to demand higher wages amid record inflation.

This is the first time this year that four transport unions, RMT, Unite, Aslef, TSSA, are coordinating for a joint day of action. Only 11% of trains will operate in the country, leaving many regions without any service.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch apologized to BBC users for the expected disruption and justified the strike: “The Government has caused this conflict” by proposing “to ax our jobs, cut our pensions and cut our wages in the face of inflation.” to shorten.

UK households face inflation approaching 10% and are worried about being able to keep warm or pay their mortgages this winter. Despite the announcement of a freeze on energy price caps, prices have doubled in a year and the government, which has been in office for less than a month, is more unpopular than ever.

The strike is likely to disrupt the visit of Arsenal and Tottenham fans to London on the day of the derby between the two north London football clubs. It also comes on the eve of the start of the Conservative Party’s annual congress in Birmingham and while Sunday’s London Marathon is taking place, drawing tens of thousands of people to the British capital.

Railway workers, but also port workers, postal workers, defense lawyers and garbage collectors have been on strike since June to demand wage increases in view of the cost of living crisis.

Several unions, representing railway workers in particular, had announced a truce in their mobilization after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, but movements have since resumed with a vengeance.

More rail and tube strikes in London are planned for next week.