British rail, shipping and transport workers again challenge Rishi Sunak’s government by starting another 48-hour strike. Its objective is to ask for salary improvements, thus deepening the crisis due to the wave of unemployment in different sectors in recent weeks in the United Kingdom. Members of the British Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union who work for the railway company over the Christmas holidays.
Numerous employees from different sectors, belonging to the Network Rail company and 14 other operators, support the strike to demand wage increases in order to alleviate the sharp increase in the cost of living in the United Kingdom, where inflation in November stood at 10.7%.
The railway sector, which will go on another strike on January 6 and 7, is demanding a 7% wage increase, but the Network Rail company has only offered a 5% increase, below inflation, which is over 10%. In this way, the general secretary of the RMT union, Mick Lynch, told the BBC today that he regrets that the strike “is prolonged in this way”, but that the government “is not doing anything” to end it.
“All parties involved know what must be done”
Within this context, Lynch has stated that the claims needed to reach an agreement are known to all involved, but he also stresses that the government is blocking the agreements while ignoring most of the disputes and that “must change.” The lack of a consensus in these could seriously aggravate the return to work of the British who see how their economy is stagnating again due to a disorganized government.
UK Transport Minister Mark Harper, in a statement to the BBC, regretted that the RMT had rejected his offer for a better pay. “I would prefer they drop the pickets and go back to the negotiating table to reach an agreement on reforms and wages with the employers,” Harper said, adding that the walkouts are “harmful to the rail industry” and “to the people who work in her”.