'Talks have not progressed': Britain gearing up for biggest rail strike in over 30 years

Edited By: Vyomica Berry
London, United Kingdom Updated: Jun 20, 2022, 06:08 PM(IST)

In this file photo taken on January 10, 2017 commuters wait on a platform to catch a train toward central London at Clapham Junction station after strike action by Southern Rail caused another morning of travel disruption in the British captial. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Coinciding with major events including the Glastonbury music festival, rail union the RMT has said that more than 50,000 workers will take part in a three-day national strike

In a row over pay as soaring inflation erodes earnings, the UK's railway network this week faces its biggest strike action in more than three decades.

Coinciding with major events including the Glastonbury music festival, rail union the RMT has said that more than 50,000 workers will take part in a three-day national strike.

Although schools have warned that thousands of teenagers taking national exams will also be affected, RMT argues that the strikes are necessary as wages have failed to keep pace with inflation.

Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail, which looks after the country's rail tracks, told BBC that "Talks have not progressed as far as I had hoped and so we must prepare for a needless national rail strike and the damaging impact it will have." 

After the lifting of coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, jobs are also at risk as passenger traffic is yet to fully recover.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, countries all across the globe are being hit by decades-high inflation despite easing of Covid restrictions.

According to the RMT, the strikes, which are the biggest dispute on Britain's railway network since 1989, will begin on Tuesday will take place every alternate day till Saturday.

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With lines not affected by strike action nevertheless reducing services, rail operators have warned of disruption throughout the week after the union also announced a 24-hour walkout of its members on the Tube.

Causing long delays and frustration for passengers, the strikes are likely to compound travel chaos in the aviation sector, after airlines were forced to cut flights due to staff shortages. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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