The British railway sector resumes the strike in search of better wages
The strikes in recent weeks in numerous sectors, such as nurses, ambulances, customs or the post office, as well as in transport, have caused a crisis in the United Kingdom, with no solution in sight for the moment. Thus, the British railway sector resumed this Friday a 48 hour strike to demand better pay and against worsening working conditions, while driving examiners and motorway officers are also on the dole in parts of the UK.
Some 40,000 members of the Railway, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT), the most important in the industry, although it excludes drivers, have joined this forceful measure, which has caused upset thousands of people who use this means of transport.
The railway sector had already gone on strike this week and at the end of last year, without any come to an agreement with the fourteen companies operating the services and the state manager Network Rail, which has estimated that this Friday they are operational only 20% of train servicesso he advises against traveling unless it is “absolutely necessary”.
RMT claims a salary increase around 7%but the manager offers 5% and private operators even less, all below the inflation rate, which exceeds 10%.
In addition, the strikers oppose the worsening of their conditions contractual and “thousands of layoffs” that will result from the planned abolition of ticket offices and train inspectors throughout the country, the general secretary of the railway union, Mick Lynch, told EFE.
Lynch, present today at a picket outside Euston station in London, accuses the Conservative government of “interfering” in negotiations with employers “for ideological reasons.” However, the trade unionist assured that they will go “in good spirits” to the meeting Now proposed by the Executive of Rishi Sunak for next Monday with all sectors on strike, which also include nurses and ambulance drivers.
“There have been no negotiations or meetings for more than a month, but next week we will meet with government transport officials, railway companies and Network Rail. We hope the government has something new to say,” he told EFE. Lynch suspects that the Sunak government, which could “have traded over Christmas”has delayed it because “he wanted to announce new anti-union laws that suppress the rights of unions in this country.”
Sunak defended this Friday his decision, announced yesterday, to legislate to restrict the right to strike by imposing minimum services in several sectors, including railway employees, firefighters and ambulances, which, according to Lynch, will undermine the basic right of workers to withdraw their workforce.
The Tory Prime Minister insisted that must “balance” the right to strike with “that of citizens life without disruption.” Sunak urged unions across all sectors to engage “constructively” in a “grown-up” conversation on Monday about what “is affordable, reasonable and responsible for the country.”
Labor Party Treasury spokesman Pat McFadden opined that the “Tories” are using political “law as a weapon” by announcing legislative changes amid the current disputes, knowing that by the time it will take to be approved by Parliament, will not have an effect on them. Some people in charge of doing driving tests in London, the southeast and southwest of England and in Wales also go on strike this Friday to demand better wages, as well as highway agents.