Communication paralysis in London. “It’s gonna be a difficult day”

Of the 11 London Underground lines, only three run on Friday. There are also city buses in some parts of the city. Workers are on strike in the British capital, who are fighting for higher wages. “It’s going to be a tough day,” said Nick Dent of Transport for London.

The next train strike is scheduled for Saturday. An additional problem is that the strike of metro workers is taking place between two days of protests on the railroad.

“It’s going to be a tough day,” said Nick Dent of Transport for London. – We advise customers not to travel by metro at all – he added.

Reasons for the strike

All these strikes are caused by disputes between trade unions, especially RMT, which brings together rail, sea and road transport workers, and carriers about the amount of pay rises, terms of employment and possible layoffs.

In the case of the metro strike, the British government is also a party to the dispute, which during the coronavirus pandemic financially bailed out Transport for London (TfL), which manages public transport in the capital, but instead demanded cost cuts.

Workers want wage increases to offset sharp increases in food and energy prices, and to protect jobs in the face of government-proposed cuts.

“Metro executives are secretly negotiating with the government about cutting jobs and undermining working conditions and pensions, all in the name of removing subsidies.” This government-led attack on workers will be catastrophic as no other comparable urban transport system in the world can provide good and reliable services without government financial support, argues RMT Secretary General Mick Lynch.

In response, Transport Minister Grant Shapps accused the union leaders of not being ready to compromise and not even presenting their members with a proposal for a raise, which would amount to 8 percent. For two years. – We do not want to be in the vicious circle of the 1970s, with rising wages, rising wages inflation and so on and so forth. We will never come out of it – he emphasized.

Inflation at its highest in over 40 years

The ONS statistics office said on Wednesday that in July 2022 the annual inflation rate in the UK had risen to 10.1 percent. This is another month when it is at its highest level in 40 years and the first time since February 1982 to reach double-digit value.

Rising inflation is causing wages in Great Britain to decline faster and faster. In June, salaries without bonuses were 3 percent. lower than a year ago, which is the biggest drop since the office started to keep comparable statistics in 2001. The central bank predicts that inflation will exceed 13 percent in October, which would be the highest rate in 42 years.

Main photo source: EPA / ANDY RAIN

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