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Britain threatened with summer of rail chaos as RMT calls strike ballot

British train passengers were threatened in the summer of a potential travel disruption after the RMT Transport Association announced it would vote on its members due to a nationwide strike in disputes over jobs and wages.

The RMT said on Wednesday that more than 40,000 employees at the Network Rail infrastructure operator and 15 railway operators would be asked to vote in favor of industrial operations. If approved it would be “the biggest train strike in modern history,” the union said.

The controversy focuses on Network Rail’s plans to cut at least 2,500 “safety-critical” maintenance jobs, according to RMT. What’s more, train crews ‘companies’ teams have faced wage freezes, job threats and “attacks on their own terms,” ​​the union added.

The announcement of the vote, which will take place between April 26 and May 24, comes against the backdrop of a growth Industrial unrestFor inflation erodes workers’ wages at a time when many employers are finding it difficult to fill vacancies.

Network Rail has warned of the need to cut costs but has not yet submitted any official proposals. The infrastructure operator said she was “disappointed” with the RMT decision and urged the union to “work with us… When we build a reasonable price railway”.

“Even as passenger numbers begin to recover, we know that travel habits and demand for passengers have changed and the industry must change,” said Tim Schweller, Regional Rail’s regional director. He added that the infrastructure operator would not consider changes that would harm safety.

Lack of manpower and labor disputes have also hit other parts of the transport sector.

Airlines in the UK canceled Dozens of flights during the Easter holidays, blaming unprecedented levels of crew illness. Trade unions argued that management was in too much of a hurry to cut labor force during the epidemic.

Meanwhile, long queues of trucks were built at Dover Port earlier this month – partly due to the cancellation of P&O Ferries cruises, afterward fired All staff in the UK and replaced them with agency staff.

However, railway workers are in a particularly difficult situation, as the sector is under intense pressure to adapt to the long-term post-epidemic decline in commuter and business travel.

The railway industry is facing an annual Lack of budget Of £ 2 billion as state support is reduced while the number of passengers remains depressed.

The government took control of the train network effectively in 2020 and spent around £ 15 billion on maintaining services, but has now instructed companies operating private trains to identify savings. Some industry executives have said privately that manpower is one of the few areas they see space Significantly reduce costs.

Rail Delivery Group, the main trading body representing Network Rail and railway operators, said the industry needed to “adapt” and could not take “more than its fair share of taxpayers”. He added that the RMT strike action was “too early” and would put the recovery at risk.

The Department of Transportation said it wants a “fair deal for staff, passengers and taxpayers” because the train is moving “outside the taxpayer’s life support”.

Under UK law, a strike is only legal if a ballot paper attracts the majority of “yes” votes, with a turnout of at least 50 per cent of eligible voters. For important public services, there is an additional threshold whereby 40 per cent of all eligible union members must support the action.

Although associates in the union think the majority will support the ballot box, it is unclear whether the turnout will be high enough in all the bargaining units involved for strike action to take place at the national level.

Britain threatened with summer of rail chaos as RMT calls strike ballot Source link Britain threatened with summer of rail chaos as RMT calls strike ballot

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