Strike could bring UK rail to a standstill as truce ends

CNN business

UK trade unions offered the country a brief respite from a wave of strikes at a time of national mourning. For the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Now, a day after the monarch’s funeral, strikes have resumed as workers demand better pay and conditions and annual inflation hovers around 10%.

Earlier this month, rail and postal workers’ unions suspended plans to meet demands for higher wages in the wake of the Queen’s death.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said on Tuesday that more than 40,000 workers at 14 train operators and Network Rail, the owner of the national rail infrastructure, will go on strike for 24 hours from October 1 in a dispute over pay. , job security and conditions.

The RMT said the action would join separate strikes by others Train workers and bus workers – Britain’s railways would be brought to “effective standstill”.

“Transport workers are joining the wave of strikes on October 1, sending a clear message to government and employers that workers will not tolerate continued attacks on pay and working conditions at a time when big business profits are at a premium,” RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said in a statement. in one

Since June, RMT members have walked out for a total of six days over the same demands, joining thousands of workers across the UK – including journalists, lawyers and call center workers – as they downed tools. dealing with the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades. Average rents could not keep up with the rise in consumer price inflation, which was 9.9% between August.

There could be more strikes this fall, threatening unprecedented disruption across many industries. Teachers, doctors and nurses will vote to strike in the coming weeks. More unions can also coordinate their walkouts. Batu and Unison – the country’s largest trade union with a combined 2.7 million members – are calling on others to join them in synchronized action.

Last week, Unite said 1,900 workers at Felixstowe, Britain’s largest container port, will strike for eight days from September 27 over pay for the second time in as many months. The walkout will coincide with strike action by hundreds of dockers at the Port of Liverpool, a major UK commercial hub.

Even in the United States, workers are not happy. Last week, the country averted a rail strike by more than 50,000 workers after unions and rail companies reached a tentative deal on pay. The strike threatened to disrupt supply chains and drive up the prices of many goods.

– Chris Isidore, Vanessa Yurkevich and Jeremy Diamond contributed reporting.