London Strike: The Biggest Rail Strike In 30 Years

On the 21st, 23rd, and 25th of June. About 40,000 staff at network Rail and 13 train operators joined in the strike. During these three days, there were no commuters or staff at the railway stations. On a typical workday morning, busy stations were deserted as Transport for London warned, "Only travel if your journey is essential." RMT workers and railway bosses continued talks as more than 40,000 people at Network Rail and across 13 train operating companies took a day off. Commuters have been warned to "stay the course" in the face of a third strike. Mr. Johnson called on rail bosses and unions to agree on a modernisation package to ensure the industry's future. In the following paragraphs, I will explain why the rail strike would happen. And then, there will be a short discussion of the pros and cons behind this strike.

Why Strike?


Wage and Redundancies:

The rail union RMT is seeking an increase in wages of 7.1% and an end to mandatory layoffs. Since the increasing demand on the online ticket service, the rail industry are planning to close some ticketing offices. Boris Johnson stated, "To have a better future for rail, for railway workers, and for their families, we need sensible reforms to ticketing offices."


Inflation:

Over the past 40 years, the inflation rate has reached its highest level. Price increases are averaging 9.1% in the United Kingdom. One of the biggest factors contributing to inflation at present is the high price of oil and gas due to the war between Ukraine and Russia. Despite government cuts and pay proposals below inflation, union bosses have criticized the government, while ministers say the railways need reform and large pay increases threaten to drive inflation out of control.


Covid-19:

In a statement, Jane Gwynn said she and other London Bridge station employees were striking because their pensions, working conditions, and wages are being sacrificed due to the economic effect of the pandemic. It shouldn't be our responsibility to pay the price with our conditions in the future, she said. "We worked as hard as everyone else and we just carried on," she said.

What Are The Advantages Behind The Strike?


Benefit for Workers:

The use of force is a powerful method for gaining certain benefits, privileges, or protections. This strategy works because we deprive our employers of something important - its production, public image, profits, and above all, the ability to control us. The strategy occurs when employees have complaints against them.


Affirms the Values of Liberal Democracies

In addition to demanding and achieving a decent standard of living, strikes are themselves intrinsic expressions of freedom and human rights. Striking is an affirmation of a crucial set of values that are likened to those of liberal democracies, including dignity, liberty, and autonomy.

The Disadvantages Of The Strike


Financial Damage:

Strikes may could impose a serious financial cost on both the employer and the employees. Firms brace themselves for heavy disruptions due to continuing strike action, which is expected to cause "incredible" damage in both the short and long run. According to CEBR economists, this three times of rail strikes will cause at least £91 million in economic damage.


Inconvenience:

Disgruntled strikers may claim that the strike interferes with their freedom of movement, educational rights, privacy, etc. A rail strike, for instance, causes us inconvenience in our daily lives. Commuters cannot go to work by tube, they have to choose work at home.


We will continue to follow the progress of the negotiations between employees and the industry.


 

References/Wider reading:

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jun/23/commuters-stay-at-home-on-day-two-of-rail-strike-as-talks-resume

[2] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-61873467

[3] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12196322

[4] https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2019/12/11/lim-right-to-strike/

[5] https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/explained/tube-train-strike-dates-2022/

[6] https://www.ft.com/content/838f65b1-be9f-4773-b0d0-df8924679cab

[7] https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/business-bosses-predict-incredible-damage-014510256.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAKM5bM2DI31466f3CtPmx4PCoyfzKLLx-fndJSN6m2_eqJIT99d0SNUs6dKBsV7FPVHY0J87koMHCC9euyWMeyPo0-f-V-O99UB8WfL8815kAgFjyyj1ECSrMJgSxPTDGY2R8HLp8xl6r2x9OBZS4KQLzi77wmjVH4rFs7jo71un

[8] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61885519

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