RAILWAY STRIKES are expected to lead to the cancellation of about 80% of train traffic in the UK today.
As of Tuesday, train passengers will face chaos with only one-fifth of services running and half of the lines closed, due to the largest strike by railway workers in a generation.
According to reports in the Guardian and the BBC, only about 20% of railway services will run today.
Train traffic is also expected to be affected during the days without planned strike action due to consequences – with about 60% of normal traffic running.
The last talks failed to resolve the bitter conflict over wages, jobs and conditions, with all sides blaming each other for the lack of progress.
A large part of the UK will not have any passenger trains on all day on Tuesday, including most of Scotland and Wales, all of Cornwall and Dorset, and places such as Chester, Hull, Lincoln and Worcester.
The services will primarily be limited to the main lines, but even these will only be open between 7.30 and 18.30.
Thousands of members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail and 13 train operators will go out on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
The operators not involved in the hostilities will still be disrupted due to the strike of Network Rail signals.
London Underground workers will also go out on Tuesday.
Trade unions reacted angrily to reports that Labor had banned its front benches from strike lines, in a memo leaked to Politics Home.
Sharon Graham, secretary general of Unite, told the PA news agency: “The Labor Party was founded by the unions and we expect Labor MPs to defend workers, in word and deed.”
This week’s strikes will cause millions of travelers.
Students and parents are encouraged to make an alternative plan to get to school for A-level and GCSE exams on Tuesday and Thursday.
Motorists are warned to expect an increase in traffic when train passengers switch to road transport.
AA predicted that the worst affected roads are likely to be the main roads, as well as rural and suburban areas.
About half of the Great Western Railways trains that will operate Castle Cary in Somerset, with partygoers to the Glastonbury Festival between Wednesday and Friday, have been canceled.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson is expected to say before a government meeting on Tuesday that the unions “hurt the very people they claim to help”.
He will accuse unions of “driving away commuters who ultimately support the jobs of railway workers”, while cracking down on companies across the country.
He will say: “Too high wage demands will also make it incredibly difficult to put an end to the current challenges that families around the world face with rising living costs.
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“Now is the time to come to a sensible compromise for the good of the British people and the railway workers.”
RMT Secretary General Mick Lynch said that Network Rail had offered a 2% pay rise with the possibility of a further 1% later due to efficiency savings.
He told BBC Newsnight that Network Rail had “escalated” the dispute during Monday’s talk, saying: “They have issued me a letter saying there will be redundancies from 1 July.
“So instead of trying to reach an agreement on this dispute, they have escalated it by giving us a formal notice of termination among our Network Rail members.”
He warned that the dispute could continue for several months, adding: “It is clear that the Tory government, after cutting £ 4 billion in funding from the National Rail and Transport for London, has now actively prevented a solution to this dispute.
“The railway companies have now proposed wage rates that are massively below the relevant inflation rate, which comes on top of the wage freezes of recent years.
“On behalf of the government, companies are also trying to implement thousands of cuts and have failed to provide any guarantee against mandatory redundancies.”
The UK Department of Transportation disputed Lynch’s mussels, adding that it has cost taxpayers around £ 600 per household to keep the railway running during the coronavirus pandemic.
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