Many stations, which are usually full, were almost deserted Tuesday morning as only around a fifth of the trains were scheduled to run, the PA news agency reported. Tens of thousands of railway workers wanted to stop working not only on Tuesday, but also on Thursday and Saturday. London Underground workers also went on strike on Tuesday. The “Tube” was mostly out of order. The strike on Tuesday is considered the largest for several decades, only around a fifth of the connections should run as usual.
According to the unions, the walkout is only the prelude to a possible “summer of dissatisfaction” in which teaching staff, medical staff and even lawyers could also take part in industrial action. Many Britons are suffering from rising food and fuel prices.
Johnson: Felt across the country
Johnson’s Conservative government condemned the strikes. Johnson accused the unions of harming the very people they were supposed to be helping with their actions. In addition, excessive wage claims would exacerbate the problem of the cost of living. “With these strikes, they drive out commuters who ultimately secure the jobs of the railroad workers,” Johnson said at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, according to a statement from his office. The consequences of the walkout would be felt by companies and communities across the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a change in legislation that would oblige rail operators to provide minimum supplies on strike days and allow striking staff to be replaced by substitutes. “We will ensure that things like this do less damage in the future,” Shapps told Sky News.
Leach: Strike as long as necessary
Network Rail CEO Andrew Haines apologized to the tens of thousands of passengers who have had to switch to other modes of transport this week. In addition to the Network Rail connections, the trains of around a dozen other rail operators are also canceled.
Union leader John Leach said in an interview with TalkTV on Tuesday: “We cannot embark on something that is almost eight percent behind inflation – that is absolutely unacceptable.” Of course, we regret the disruption and inconvenience for passengers.
In the run-up to the strike, Leach announced on the BBC that he would hold strikes for as long as necessary. Observers fear it could take months. The Johnson government threatened to use contract workers to break the strikes, a move that further enraged unionists.
UK: Biggest rail strike in 30 years
UK rail workers’ union launches biggest rail strike in 30 years. She demands more money and better working conditions. Millions of train users are affected.
The British economy initially recovered well from the CoV pandemic. According to experts, a combination of labor shortages, disrupted supply chains, inflation and post-Brexit trade disputes could lead to a recession. UK inflation hit a 40-year high of 9% in April. It is expected that the ten percent mark will be exceeded in the further course of the year.
Largest strikes since 1989
The strikes will be the most widespread since 1989, according to the union. Many jobs have been cut in the industry and wages cannot keep up with runaway inflation. Faced with this development, “the RMT cannot remain passive,” Lynch said.
According to the British industry association CBI, the disposable real income of households will fall by 2.3 percent over the course of the year – more than at any time since the mid-1950s. “Every worker in the UK deserves a pay rise that reflects the cost of living crisis,” RMT said.
The current industrial dispute has drawn comparisons to the 1970s. At that time there was a series of strikes in Great Britain which finally culminated in the “Winter of Discontent” of 1978/79. The current strikes come at a time when travelers at UK airports are experiencing delays and last-minute cancellations due to staff shortages. In addition, many Brits have to wait months for new passports due to delays in processing.