Monday, November 28, 2022

What's next on the UK's strike agenda: trains, tubes, and buses?

Trains, tubes and buses: What's next on UK's strikes agenda?

 LONDON:Since the summer, there have been a number of strikes on the UK's transportation system, with workers fighting for pay raises that keep up with inflation and, in some cases, against system changes after COVID.

In advance of a walkout by station staff on November 25, London commuters endured a second strike on the London Underground earlier this month.

Due to the lack of progress in negotiations, severe travel disruptions are anticipated leading up to Christmas.

When are the following rail strikes?

On November 26, members of the Aslef train drivers' union will stage a walkout at 11 of the country's operating companies, including those that operate mainline services like Avanti West Coast, Great Western Rail, and LNER.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers has announced that 40,000 of its members will strike at 14 train companies in addition to Network Rail on December 13, 14, 16, and 17.

Additionally, passengers should be wary of cancellations during the important holiday season.Between December 18 and January 2, overtime will be prohibited, according to the RMT.

The RMT has scheduled train strikes for January 3, 4, 6, and 7 of the following year.

Are bus drivers also planning to leave?

Yes.Abellio Transport Group Ltd. bus drivers in London will go on strike on November 25 and 26, followed by seven days in December, affecting services in a lot of the UK capital.The buses owned by Metroline Ltd. in London are also subject to seven days of strikes.

What is at stake in these arguments?

They primarily concern pay.Similar to Liverpool dockworkers, whose basic pay was raised by 9% in November, transport workers want raises that are close to the UK's inflation rate, which has fluctuated between double digits and higher in recent months.

According to Unite, which represents bus drivers, Abellio initially demonstrated a willingness to increase pay but has since made no offer to employees or entered into "meaningful" discussions.According to Aslef, despite ongoing negotiations, no pay offer has been made.

Hasn't progress been made?

As they entered what were described as “intensive negotiations” regarding pay, some of the largest unions in the UK, the RMT and TSSA, suspended rail strikes early in November.

However, the RMT continued to announce additional dates for later in the month.On November 24, its director, Mick Lynch, met with Transport Secretary Mark Harper in an effort to open the door to more fruitful discussions with train companies.

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