Strikes Halt London's Transport Network as Inflation Affects Wages

Strikes Halt London's Transport Network as Inflation Affects Wages

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Another mass walkout has brought the UK's railway network to a grinding halt causing major disruptions.

Tens of thousands of signalers, maintenance workers, ticket collectors fighting for their rights as negotiations with the government for better pay and conditions hit the buffers.

All London Underground and Overground train lines were suspended or part suspended and dozens of bus routes in the west of the city were disrupted, Transport for London (TfL) said.

Tens of thousands of workers from the wider national rail network walked out on Thursday and will do so again on Saturday, France24 reported.

Commuters across the country have already endured disruption from rail strikes this year, organised by unions demanding pay and conditions for their members that better reflect the soaring cost of living caused by energy price-driven inflation.

Data showed inflation at 10.1% in July, the highest since February 1982, as rising energy costs resulting from Russia's invasion of Ukraine hit consumers directly through their household bills, and indirectly through rising food prices.

That has led to a standoff between firms, who say rising costs and falling demand limit their room to negotiate, unions who say their workers cannot afford to live and the government, which is worried that big wage increases may fuel inflation.

Workers in other British industries are also planning future strikes or moving towards industrial action. These include port workers, lawyers, teachers, nurses, firefighters, and waste collection, airport and postal staff.

Stoking the public ire, comments by Conservative prime ministerial hopeful Liz Truss, the foreign minister, who has pledged to restrict the ability of public sector workers to strike.

The opposition Labor Party, which receives funding from several trade Unions, has also come under fire for failing to support the walkouts.

The rail strikes, which also include London’s underground and over ground network, have set off a wave of industrial action that is set to get bigger, with teachers, health workers and even barristers planning their own strikes.

Britain’s so-called summer of discontent seems well and truly underway with a general strike now looking more likely than ever and with the railway workers in the eye of the storm.

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