Fresh transport strikes hit UK, Europe

LONDON: Britain’s railway system once again came to a virtual standstill on Saturday (Jun 25) and flights in Europe were disrupted as strikes in the travel sector hit the continent.

Tens of thousands of rail workers in the UK staged the latest day-long walkout over pay and job security, hampering weekend plans for those already hit by similar strikes on Tuesday and Thursday.

Only around a fifth of services are set to operate on heavily reduced hours, with those still running starting much later in the morning than usual and set to end as early as 6.30pm (1730 GMT).

The RMT rail union insists this week’s actions are necessary as wages have failed to keep pace with UK inflation, which has hit a 40-year high and is on course to keep rising.

It also wants a threat of compulsory redundancies withdrawn.

RMT secretary general Mick Lynch said its members are “standing up for all working people trying to get a pay rise and some job security”.

“In a modern economy, workers need to be properly rewarded for their work, enjoy good conditions and have the peace of mind that their job will not be taken away from them,” he added.

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: “Unfortunately, the RMT’s decision to carry out another day of needless and premature strike action means our passengers will suffer again on Saturday.

“A fraction of trains will run compared to a usual Saturday service, with trains starting later in the morning and finishing much earlier in the evening.”