While hundreds of train drivers went on strike on Saturday in the latest round of a violent labor dispute on the country’s railways, workers, tourists and sports fans have experienced travel disruption in Britain.
In England, nearly 5,000 train drivers went on an all-day strike against seven railway companies. It happened on the opening day of the new English football season and the second full day of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
After four days of strikes by train cleaners, flagmen, maintenance workers and station workers since June over wages, jobs and working conditions, the drivers went on strike.
To deal with the inflation rate above 9% and the biggest problem of the cost of living in decades, the unions are pushing for significant wage increases. After two years impacted by the epidemic during which they were kept viable thanks to emergency public financing, the railway companies are looking to reduce their expenses and their workforce.
Unions claim the Conservative government is preventing private, tightly regulated rail companies from offering a better deal; the government contests this assertion.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps alleged in a letter to The Times of London that ‘militant union leaders’ were opposing vital reforms and ‘taking the taxpayer for a ride, but not in the way they were supposed to. “.
ASLEF union president Mick Whelan said employees simply wanted a “reasonable” pay rise.
We haven’t had a raise for three years; he told the BBC. “The people we work for will earn hundreds of millions of pounds while rewarding their shareholders.”
In what is proving to be a summer of disruption to global and UK travel, further strikes are scheduled for August. As airports struggle to manage staff shortages and a dramatic increase in flight demand after two years of the pandemic, air travelers are experiencing delays and disruptions in many countries.
Last week, Brexit-related delays and a lack of French border guards led to hours-long queues at the port of Dover for truckers and Britons traveling overseas by ferry.