More than 40,000 employees of the UK train service started this Tuesday 24 hour stoppagewhich they plan to replicate this Thursday and Saturday, to claim salary improvements and safety measures at work. It’s about the largest strike in means of transport that the country lives in the last 30 years. Today’s measure also affects the London Underground.

The railway workers’ union has already announced that it will not accept the offer made by the employers for a 3% increase and claim an improvement close to 7%. What employers offer is well below the UK inflation rate, which in April reached its highest level in 13 years, with a variation of 9% year-on-year.

In addition, from the union they highlighted that since March 2020 they have their frozen wages, a fact that led many workers to ask for food assistance in canteens. The worst paid positions in the field are customer service, cleaning and window ticket sales, they detailed.

The railway companies that survived the crisis caused by the covid pandemic thanks to the financial support of the Government, now have in their plans a downsizing and changes in work practices. Among the modifications they plan is to close all windows to the public attended by people.

From the central administration they warned that large wage increases would be reflected in higher inflation. These statements earned the Government accusations of complicity with the employer to keep workers’ wages low.

The accusations were denied by the Secretary of Transportation, Grant Shapps, who assured that “no minister has participated directly in the negotiations” and blamed the unions for “opposing progress.” In this regard, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson called the strikes “unnecessary” of trains because they generate “significant inconveniences throughout the country.

In any case, Shapps estimated that during the day on Tuesday they will work close to 20% of services, that is to say, that 4,500 of the 20,000 daily trips that usually take place in the country will complete their journey. This is because although some companies are not affected by the strike, signalers that provide service to the entire network do adhere to the measure.

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Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is a freelance writer working on news website. He contributes to Our Blog and more. Wise also works in higher ed sustainability and previously in stream restoration. He loves running, trees and hanging out with her family.

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