British railways will be on strike again on Wednesday. Some 40,000 employees have laid down their work for 24 hours to demand more wages, better working conditions, and job security.
About one train in five leaves on Wednesday, but there are no trains at all in some areas. Eurostar traffic is also affected by the action.
The rail strike comes a month after the last, which was the largest in 30 years. Then more than 50,000 rail workers took part in the action that lasted three days.
Employer Network Rail proposes a 4 percent pay increase this year and a conditional 4 percent in 2023, but the RMT union rejected the proposal. This refers to inflation, which flirts with the 10 percent.
British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps does not want to get involved in the conflict but is on the employers’ side. He accuses the union of being “the extreme left” and disrupting the lives of ordinary Britons, Sky News reported. Together with the Minister of Economy, he wants to create the possibility of deploying temporary workers for a short time to keep strategically important infrastructure open.
The rail strike also threatens to hinder supporters who want to attend the semi-finals of the European Women’s Football Championship. Germany and France play against each other in London on Wednesday evening. The visitors to the Commonwealth Games, which start on Thursday in Birmingham, may also experience problems.
New actions are planned for mid-August, not only on British rail but also on the London Underground.