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June 21, 2022

UK rail workers begin nationwide strike over pay freezes and job cuts

The issue is said to stem from £4bn of budget cuts for Transport for London and the national railways.

By RanjithKumar Dharma

Rail workers across the UK have started what is claimed to be the biggest strike in 30 years after negotiations with unions failed.

It will see more than 50,0000 rail workers walking out on a spat over lack of guarantee against compulsory redundancies, pay freezes, and pensions.

The issue is said to stem from £4bn of budget cuts for Transport for London and the national railways. 

British trade union RMT general secretary Mick Lynch stated that the pay rates currently proposed by the rail companies are significantly under the relevant rates of inflation.

According to the union, the companies have decided to ‘attack’ the Railway Pension Scheme and the TFL scheme, reducing benefits and increasing work duration.

The companies also redacted safety inspections on the infrastructure by 50% and attacked terms, conditions, and working practices in a form of internal fire and re-hire.

RMT stated that it ‘supports the campaign for a square deal for all working people in the face of the cost-of-living crisis and our current campaign is a part of that more general campaign, which means that public services have to be properly funded and all workers properly paid with good conditions.’

The strikes will affect the London Underground, Overground, as well as Elizabeth line services from 21-26 June.

TfL has advised passengers not to travel on 21 June and until mid-morning on 22 June unless essential.

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