The unions warn that Britain’s largest train strike in 30 years will begin on Tuesday as tens of thousands of workers face a pay rise, leading to joint action with other sectors.
British households are already facing the biggest economic crisis in decades, with rising food and fuel prices raising inflation to 10%, while average base wages are no higher than they were in 2006.
More than 50,000 train workers will go on strike on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in connection with the wage freeze and job cuts – the unions say, beginning a possible “summer of discontent” with teachers, doctors and even lawyers engaging in massive action.
“In the face of an aggressive agenda such as cuts in jobs, conditions, wages and pensions, the RMT (union) has no choice but to protect our members professionally and stop this race,” said Secretary-General Mick Lynch. Railway, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT).
He said last-minute talks had failed, meaning strikes would continue this week and many more were planned.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the unions were hurting people who claimed to be helping.
“By moving these strikes forward, they are alienating travelers who support the jobs of railroad workers while at the same time affecting businesses and communities across the country,” Johnson said in a statement.
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