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United Kingdom: New strikes in rail transport over pay

Railway workers in the UK are on strike again on Friday and Saturday. After rejecting revaluation proposals made by companies so far, seeking wage hikes in the face of inflation.

The conductors are on strike on Friday on the call of the Aslef union, while the maintenance and control agents will strike on Saturday on the call of the RMD union.

Railway companies have announced major disruptions and train cancellations.

The move is the eleventh episode of months of social unrest in the UK, which has not only affected rail transport.

Nurses, paramedics, civil servants and other professions have walked off the job several times after months of falling for pay raises as the cost of living has risen with double-digit inflation.

While other under-represented unions have ended their movement, Aslef and RMT have rejected proposals for a 4% salary increase for this year (up from +4 to +5% last year), along with changes to working conditions.

“We don’t want to strike… we don’t want to come to this, but we feel we have no choice but to go without a raise after four years,” union general secretary Aslef Mick Whelan told the BBC.

He accused the government of “bad faith”, “not talking” to unions and tying companies’ hands in negotiations.

Drivers plan to resume trains on May 31 and June 3.

Huw Merriman, secretary of state for transport, responsible for railways, assessed on Sky News that the plan on the table was “adequate”.

He condemned the effects of strikes disrupting public attendance at Saturday’s Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool (northern England) and Manchester City and Manchester United supporters in London. FA Cup Football Final.

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“Targeting cultural and sporting events is a real shame, especially these,” he said.

The new walkouts come a day after the announcement of a “temporary” resumption of government control of services operated by TransPennine Express, after a spate of train delays and cancellations.

The difficulties caused by the unions due to the rail privatization of the 1990s, while the government blamed the behavior of the Aslef union.