UK’s Biggest Rail Strike in 30 Years Disrupts Travel

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Tens of thousands of workers walked out on the first day of Britain’s biggest rail strike in 30 years on Tuesday, with millions of passengers facing days of chaos as both the ‘unions and government vowed to stick to their guns’ in a row over pay.

The strike by more than 40,000 rail staff, which is due to be replicated on Thursday and Saturday, caused major disruption across the network, bringing most services to a standstill and leaving major stations deserted. “The London Underground metro was also mostly closed due to a separate strike.” 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, under pressure to do more to help Britons facing the toughest economic hit in decades, said the “strike would harm businesses still recovering from COVID.”

Unions have said the rail strikes could mark the start of a “summer of discontent” with teachers, medics, waste disposal workers and even barristers heading for industrial action as inflation pushes 10%.

RMT members are leading the way for all workers in this country who are sick and tired of having their pay and conditions slashed by a mixture of big business profits and government policy,” secretary-general of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), Mick Lynch said.

Network Rail said people should not travel by train unless absolutely necessary. Hospital staff said some colleagues slept at work overnight to maintain care.

Johnson told his cabinet the strikes were “wrong and unnecessary” and said his message to the country was that they needed to be ready to “stay the course” as improvements to the way railways are run were in the public’s interest.

 

 

 

 

Reuters /Shakirat Sadiq

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