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Rail strikes announced for Christmas, New Year period in UK

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Crowd of people wait in bus line as transportation in the British capital has been disrupted due to the railway workers' ongoing strike against pay rise below inflation in London, United Kingdom on November 10, 2022. (Raşid Necati Aslım - Anadolu Agency)
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Nov 23, 2022 - 06:10 AM

LONDON (AA) – The Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) union announced on Tuesday a series of 48-hour rail strikes in the run-up to Christmas as a long-running dispute over jobs, pay, and conditions continues.

The industrial action will involve 40,000 members working for Network Rail and 14 other rail companies.

The workers will strike on 13-14 and 16-17 Dec., as well as 3-4 and 6-7 Jan.

In a press release, the RMT said it suspended earlier strikes to allow for negotiations, but Network Rail failed to make an improved offer.

“At the same time Rail Delivery Group, representing the train operating companies, have also broken a promise to make a meaningful offer on pay and conditions and even cancelled negotiations that were due to take place yesterday,” the statement said.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “This latest round of strikes will show how important our members are to the running of this country and will send a clear message that we want a good deal on job security, pay and conditions for our people.”

“In the meantime, our message to the public is we are sorry to inconvenience you, but we urge you to direct your anger and frustration at the government and railway employers during this latest phase of action,” Lynch added.

“We call upon all trades unionists in Britain to take a stand and fight for better pay and conditions in their respective industries. And we will seek to coordinate strike action and demonstrations where we can.

Britain is currently experiencing a wave of industrial action, sparked by a bitter cost-of-living crisis triggered by soaring inflation and a deteriorating economy.

The UK will be the second weakest performer of the world’s big economies next year, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said on Tuesday.

Inflation has soared around the world following Russia’s war on Ukraine in February and a subsequent energy crisis.

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