More than 40,000 British railway workers went on strike today. Photo: Latin Press
LONDON, 18 August (RHC) – More than 40,000 British railway workers have returned to strike demanding a pay rise in line with inflation, better working conditions and guarantees against mass redundancies.
The strike, called by the Railway, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT), is affecting 80 per cent of the country’s train service and will be repeated on Saturday unless negotiations with the Network Rail Company and 14 other operators bear fruit, he warned guild leader Mick Lynch .
They want to take away our working conditions, they’re attacking our pensions and of course in our industry we haven’t had a wage agreement for the last two or three years, Lynch told Sky News on London broadcaster Euston.
RMT’s secretary-general, who accuses the Conservative government of interfering in the negotiations, added that the operators also intend to cut thousands of jobs.
This Thursday’s strike, the sixth by UK rail workers since June, is being backed by the Salaried Transport Staff Union and union confederation Unite, which brings together different sectors of the economy.
For their part, London Underground workers and the capital’s bus drivers announced they will be absent from work this Friday to demand a pay rise, with the London Transport Authority warning the public of a serious impact on the service.
The rise in inflation, which hit a 40-year high of 10.1 percent last July, prompted calls from unions for pay increases.
Alongside the rail sector, lawyers, nurses, teachers, couriers and dockers are demanding that they be paid a salary that will enable them to cover the cost of living, which is marked by unbridled increases in electricity tariffs and food prices. .
The Conservative government, led by the now-outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson, months ago announced a multimillion-dollar package to help low-income households weather the crisis, but the President himself last week admitted those funds were insufficient.
But Johnson refused to take any new measures to lower the cost of living, reiterating that that task will be given to the candidate who wins the internal leadership contest between former Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Liz Truss to exonerate him.
The new leader of the Conservative Party and UK Prime Minister will be elected by the organisation’s 160,000 members by postal ballot and his name will be announced on September 5th. (Source: Latin Press)