Rail strikes in England are creating trouble for commuters
This week, train workers are participating in walkouts and protests throughout London, England. Commuters have been struggling to find their way to work and school, affecting daily living. Those who use the train as their primary mode of transportation are the most affected.
These rotating strikes will occur on Tuesday, June 21, Thursday, June 23, and Saturday, June 25. The striking workers have picked up support throughout England, Scotland and Wales. A show of solidarity for their brothers and sisters.
The walkouts result from the low pay, unsatisfactory working conditions, and safety concerns. Due to the decreased number of passengers, the train stations have been struggling with overstaffing and high operating costs.
One suggestion Network Rail is exploring is to modernize the system. Some believe they are taking shortcuts by combining jobs and having fewer workers doing more. However, Network Rail believes that these changes would be good for productivity and the experience of the rail system.
The Coronavirus fallout and rising inflation have caused prices to increase while the number of passengers decreases. The product of this is that the workers are being underpaid and undervalued.
The Rail, Maritime, and Transport (RMT) union asked for a pay increase of seven percent to align with the cost of living. But, got countered with three percent, which they declined. The RMT has not ruled out the possibility of more strikes throughout the summer. In anticipation of that happening, the government is discussing a contingency plan which does not rule out back-to-work legislation.