About 5,000 railway engineers are on strike in the UK

© Reuters. Strike about 5,000 train drivers in the UK

LONDON, July 30 (.) – About 5,000 train drivers from seven operating companies went on strike in the UK on Saturday to demand higher salaries and better working conditions, in addition to other strikes this month carried out by various railway employees.

The Aslef union, which represents train drivers, called for today’s strike, which could be repeated on August 13 if there is no agreement with the companies, while last Wednesday about 40,000 employees of the state railway network director and 14 operating companies went. On strike, he was called by the RMT.

In the UK, while Network Rail maintains the tracks and some infrastructure, the train service is privatized and operated by multiple companies in concessions or concessions.

Drivers’ 24-hour suspension affects services in many areas, especially in England, and makes it difficult to access, among other events, the Commonwealth Games, which were held in Birmingham (central England).

Relations between the government, which are not negotiating but affecting what companies can do, and unions worsened after Asleaf’s general secretary, Mick Whelan, accused Transport Secretary Grant Shapps of “lying” about the evolution of negotiations.

Shapps has repeatedly condemned the strikes and criticized that “RMT is blocking reform and Aslef is slowing down negotiations,” in an article in The Times.

For his part, Steve Montgomery, president of the Federation of Rail Delivery Group Rail Companies, said on Saturday that workers must accept that the work system must be modernized, especially “to respond to the dramatic changes in travel habits after the pandemic.”

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