Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

UK rail strikes begin wave of festive season walkouts

UK rail strikes begin wave of festive season walkouts

UK rail workers on Tuesday began a two-day national strike, kicking off a month of walkouts involving professions from nurses to passport control workers that could spell Christmas misery for millions.
Commuters faced a battle to get to and from work, while many opted to stay at home, as thousands of members of the country’s biggest rail union the RMT launched their latest stoppage over a below-inflation pay offer.

Braving the ice and snow that has already hit travelers, activists picketed major railway stations Tuesday, as train services wound down and people were advised only to travel if essential.

Trains were only running from 7:30 am (0730 GMT) to 6:30 p.m. on strike days, with just one in five services expected to run.

At London’s Kings Cross station, Allan Smith, a 28-year-old web developer, said he had sympathy with the strikers, despite struggling to get to Heathrow airport.

“I totally get it. It’s hard for the people at the moment,” he told AFP.

Former firefighter Chris McBride, 74, blamed “incompetent government” for the chaos, with more stoppages planned between now and into the New Year.

The UK is experiencing a wave of industrial action on a scale not seen since the 1980s, with inflation in double digits pushing up the cost of living and energy costs soaring due to the war in Ukraine.

Postal workers are staging a two-day strike from Wednesday, while nurses are set to walk out for the first time in their union’s 106-year history on Thursday, again over pay.

Rail workers will hold another two-day strike from Friday, when they will be joined by bus drivers, highway workers and airport baggage handlers.

Border Force staff checking passports at major airports including Heathrow and Gatwick will strike over Christmas.

RMT members on Monday rejected an 11th hour pay offer from Network Rail, which owns the UK’s railway infrastructure, leading its staff, along with workers from 14 train companies, to walk out.

Network Rail had offered its workers a pay rise of five percent backdated for this year and a further four percent at the start of 2023.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch told AFP: “We’re looking for some compromise, we need an improvement in the pay offer, which is way below inflation.”

He said Network Rail wanted to “impose changes that are not acceptable” and “the government is provoking this situation.”

Network Rail boss Andrew Haines was pessimistic over chances of a breakthrough, as the government urged the RMT to call off the strikes.

“I’d have to say that with the level of disruption the RMT are imposing, the way forward isn’t obvious,” he told BBC television.

The government has also urged unions to call off planned strikes that will hit health care and mail delivery over the Christmas period.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the BBC the government was “taking a reasonable and fair approach,” saying pay offers for public sector workers are in many cases higher than in the private sector.

“I’d ask the union leaders, to engage with that and end this disruption, particularly at Christmas time. It’s going to make an enormous negative difference to people’s lives,” Sunak said.

Talks between the government and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) ended without agreement on Monday night.

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen told the BBC that “this government has turned their back on” nurses.

Up to 100,000 nurses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will walk out on Thursday and on December 20, prompting the government to put the army on standby.

“This is going to cause disruption, but there is disruption every day because of the underfunding of the service, because of the underpaying of the staff, and that’s what we want to resolve” Mark Boothroyd, a nurse and union representative, told AFP.
Newsletter

Related Articles

0:00
0:00
Close
Farmers break through police barriers in Brussels.
Ukraine Arrests Father-Son Duo In Lockbit Cybercrime Bust
US Offers $15 Million For Info On Leaders Of Cybercrime Group Lockbit
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
Alexei Navalny: UK sanctions Russian prison chiefs after activist's death
German economy is in 'troubled waters' - ministry
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
EU Investigates TikTok for Child Safety Concerns
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
France and Germany Struggle to Align on European Defense Strategy
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
Russia "Very Close" To Creating Cancer Vaccines, Says Vladimir Putin
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
US Rejects Putin's Ceasefire Offer in Ukraine
The Dangers of Wildfire Smoke and Self-Protection Strategies
A Londoner has been arrested for expressing his Christian beliefs.
Chinese Women Favor AI Boyfriends Over Humans
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Google pledges 25 million euros to boost AI skills in Europe
Hungarian President Katalin Novák Steps Down Amid Pardon Controversy
Activist crashes Hillary Clinton's speech, calls her a 'war criminal.'
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Trudeau reacts to Putin's mention of Canadian Parliament applauding a former Ukrainian Nazi in his interview with Tucker Carlson.
The Spanish police blocked the farmers protest. So the farmers went out and moved the police car out of the way.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy fires top Ukraine army commander
Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin raises EU concerns
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
Russia's Economy Expands by 3.6% Due to Increased Military Spending
Ukraine MPs Vote To Permit Use Of Dead Soldiers' Sperm
German Princess Becomes First Aristocrat To Pose Naked On Playboy Cover
UK’s King Charles III diagnosed with cancer
EU's Ursula von der Leyen Confronts Farmer Protests Amid Land Policy Debates
Distinguishing Between Harmful AI Media and Positive AI-Generated Content: A Crucial Challenge for the EU
Tucker Carlson explains why he interviewed Putin
Dutch farmers are still protesting in the Netherlands against the government, following the World Economic Forum's call for 'owning nothing.'
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stands up for European farmers and says, 'Brussels is suffocating European farmers.
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
×