Trains cancelled in UK as unions stage 2nd 24-hour walkout

LONDON: Millions of people in the UK faced disruption on Thursday as railway staff organized their second national walk this week.
A 24-hour strike by 40,000 cleaners, signers, maintenance workers and station workers has canceled about four-fifths of passenger service across the country. A third walkout is scheduled for Saturday as part of Britain’s biggest and most disruptive rail strike in 30 years.
Train stations were mostly empty on Thursdays. Highways are also less busy than expected, and many people have heeded advice to avoid commuting. Internet provider Virgin Media O2 says its data shows “millions more” than usual are working from home.
The strike is a headache for those unable to work from home, as well as for patients with medical appointments, students preparing for year-end exams, and music lovers looking to way to Glastonbury Festivallasts until Sunday on a farm in south-west England.
Disputes surround pay, working conditions and job security as British train companies aim to cut costs and staff after two years in which emergency government grants government kept them alive.
The strike pits the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union against 13 privately owned and government-owned train operators. National Railways. Talks between union representatives and employers ended at a stalemate on Wednesday. The union accused Britain’s Conservative government of disturbing the negotiations.
The union says the government is preventing employers from improving on a 3% raise across the board so far. UK inflation rate hit 9.1% in May, as RussiaThe war in Ukraine choked off energy and food supplies while consumer demand surged after the pandemic.
“Every time we get close, there’s some kind of movement somewhere outside the room with people we’re not talking to, that has an impact on what’s going on inside the room,” Eddie DempseyDeputy Secretary General of the union said.
The government denied taking part in the negotiations, but the Prime Minister Boris Johnson blamed the strike on the union. The government also warned that large wage increases would trigger a wage price spiral that would drive inflation even higher.
All sides are watching to public disappointment, with polls showing opinion being evenly split between support and opposition to the strikes.
Unions have demanded that the country brace for more as workers face the worst cost-of-living squeeze in more than a generation. Attorneys are planning a walkout starting next week, and unions representing teachers and postal workers plan to consult their members about possible actions. may happen.

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