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“Train drivers have not had a pay rise in four years. What option do we have but striking?,” Workers' leader Whelan said.
On Friday, England’s Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) and the National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers (RMT) held another massive strike that shut down the services of over 15 train lines.
"Drivers have not had a pay rise in four years. What option do we have but striking?," ASLEF Secretary Mick Whelan said, demanding wage increases and better working conditions.
Whelan apologized to passengers for the limited service caused by this initiative. He explained that the disruption would last all day and that some services will gradually resume on Saturday.
“Dialogue with the Rail Delivery Group has gone backward. Its offer of a 4 percent backdated raise for 2022 and a further 4 percent this year would add a significant number of contracted hours to drivers,” he insisted.
Talks between the ASLEF and train company representatives are likely to resume on Tuesday. “We want a resolution. However, if we do not reach it before the end of the month, the strikes will continue,” Whelan said.
On Wednesday, up to half a million British teachers, university staff, train drivers, and civil servants took to the streets to reject below-inflation pay deals. Their mobilization was the largest held in the U.K. since 2011.
Whelan warned that his union is ready to continue holding strikes for years if necessary. “If our demands are not met, it is pointless to lose the impetus gained," he stressed.
#UK | The United Kingdom is experiencing the biggest strike day in 11 years with thousands of schools closed, trains paralyzed, and the absence of thousands of civil servants demanding better social conditions and labor demands. #WalkoutWednesdaypic.twitter.com/LY7aVjMrdb