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Britain’s rail services have been disrupted by a strike

Muhammad Rajavi / Anatolia

Thousands of British railway workers began a new round of strikes on Thursday, bringing trains to a standstill across the country.

The Associated Press pointed out that “only one in five trains” currently operating in the United Kingdom are suffering from a cost of living crisis caused by labor strikes and disputes with the government over wages and working conditions.

Further strikes on Friday and Saturday are expected to disrupt the London Underground network and bus services in the capital, the company said.

Mick Lynch, head of the Confederation of Railways and Shipping, said the government’s “anti-union” agenda was prolonging the labor conflict.

Lynch told the agency that rail workers, like other public sector workers in the UK, are struggling to cope with rising food and fuel prices.

He added, “People in this country are fed up with low wages, millions of people who haven’t been paid enough for decades,” according to the company.

Inflation in the United Kingdom has topped 9 percent, and the central bank expects it to rise to 13 percent next fall, coinciding with a rise in energy tariffs.

Earlier, the government, which had said it would pay “fair wages” to railway workers, said public funds should be used to protect the jobs of railway workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesman for Britain’s Transport Ministry said union leaders, for the sixth time since last June, had chosen to “inflict misery on people and disrupt the daily lives of millions” rather than work to reach an agreement, the agency said.

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And last Saturday, train drivers at nine companies went on a 24-hour strike, disrupting services in parts of England, Scotland and Wales, British newspaper The Guardian reported.

Last June, train drivers staged a historic strike, followed by regular demonstrations.

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