Britons will struggle to get to work by train in the coming days. Around 50,000 railway workers in Britain will stop working on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. This makes it the biggest strike in the railways since 1989. The unions are demanding a wage increase equal to inflation.
The tens of thousands of railway workers on strike come from thirteen different railway operators. The strike is felt across the island, in England, Wales and Scotland. It seems that there is no strike in Northern Ireland.
Grant Shapps, Britain’s Transport Secretary, expects around 20% of normal services to continue on strike days. Delays are also expected on days when there is no official strike.
The strike stems from dissatisfaction with wages. Unions want railway workers to get a pay rise because of soaring inflation. Inflation on the British island is among the highest in Europe.
Although the discontent has been going on for some time, talks between unions and employers have so far come to nothing, culminating in a major strike. Shapps called the unions’ decision a “big mistake” and “inappropriate behaviour” on Sunday, as it prevents Britons from attending hospital appointments, work or school exams.