Second day of railway workers in Great Britain to claim wage increases in line with

The government wants to allow the use of temporary workers to replace strikers. Inflation, it could exceed 11 % in 2022.

Le Monde with AFP

This is the second big day of strike of the week, which could be followed by a third Saturday. The British railway strike strike resumed Thursday, June 23, the day after unsuccessful negotiations on wage increases in line with inflation, which reaches records in the country and could exceed 11 % at the end of the year. Only one in five train will run and the lines will not be open until 7:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., a more reduced time slot than usual.

Faced with this historic mobilization, the government announced its intention to modify the law on Thursday to allow the use of temporary workers to replace strikers and reduce the impact, which it considers “disproportionate” of strikes. Subject to the approval of the Parliament, these modifications should come into force in the coming weeks and will apply to England, Scotland and Wales.

For the Minister of Transport, Grant Shapps, this reform is “vital” and “will guarantee that any future strike will cause less disturbances and allow adaptable, flexible and qualified staff to continue working”.

The government also announced that it increased the maximum damages that the courts can inflict on a union when the strike was deemed illegal. For the biggest unions, the maximum compensation will go from 250,000 pounds to 1 million (1.16 million euros).

“wage increases are possible”

The Union of Rail and Maritime Transport (or RMT, for Rail and Maritime Transport Union, in English) – the Transport Syndicate which calls for strike – requests for wage increases in line with inflation, but also denounces The prospect of “thousands of layoffs” and the degradation of working conditions.

A Network Rail spokesman said he was “disappointed” with the failure of negotiations and tried the strike “useless and premature”. This public manager of the network of railways called on travelers to take the train only if necessary.

The association of employee transport staff (or TSSA, for transport -based staff, in English) explained on Wednesday that its members at Merseyrail, one of the many private rail operators, had accepted A 7.1 %wage increase offer, putting a little more pressure on negotiations between RMT and employers. “Wage increases are possible and fully justified,” tweeted the union Thursday.

At the start of the week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried the strike “bad and useless” and called “union barons” to sit at the negotiating table and the sector to accept to modernize to avoid bankruptcies. The conservative leader also recalled that the British government had supported the sector during the pandemic up to 16 billion pounds.

/Media reports.