Lonodn (The Times Groupe)- Since early Tuesday, Britain’s rail network has been running with skeleton services as thousands of rail workers have began an industrial action, while the country’s airports have already been paralyzed due to staff shortages for more than a month.
On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday this week, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will stage the biggest walkout in 30 years.
40,000 union members have stopped working as of Tuesday morning, the first of the walkouts. Most trains in England, Scotland, and Wales have been canceled.
On Monday afternoon, the RMT and the government failed to reach an agreement over wages.
“RMT’s national executive committee has now found both sets of proposals (from Network Rail and the train operating companies) unacceptable, and strike action will take place this week,” Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary, said.
“The Tory government has actively prevented a settlement to this dispute after slashing £4 billion from National Rail and Transport for London funding,” he said.
In addition, Lynch said, the rail companies are proposing pay rates that are significantly lower than inflation rates, and they have failed to guarantee against compulsory redundancies.”
As the last-minute talks failed, he blamed government ministers.
“For those that have no choice but to come in, it will be extremely difficult tomorrow and I think the public will understandably want to know why they are being put in this position,” said a statement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman.
“We believe we are seeking to offer a fair and reasonable pay rise and modernize the railway services for the long term, and we need to get rid of some of these outdated rules and procedures, some of which have not been updated for decades and which don’t serve the public.”