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40,000 UK Rail Workers to Strike

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Trains and tracks at Waterloo station in London. | Photo by Andy Rain/EPA

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ScotRail is owned by the Scottish Government and overseen by Scottish Rail Holdings Limited (SRH Ltd). This publicly owned company operating rail services in Scotland says it will have to cancel more than 90% of its regular services if signal workers go on strike next week. Zero Hedge reports that thousands of railway workers are preparing for a walkout in Britain, which may cause transportation problems next week as workers demand higher wages as inflation continues to soar globally.

Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) working for Network Rail will go on strike next Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, Zero Hedge reports.


“We’ve had lots of people asking why the limited services we are running during next week’s RMT Network Rail strikes are in and around the central belt,” the company tweeted. “Network Rail cannot open signal boxes to operate passenger services on any other routes on the strike days.”

ScotRail says it will be able to run only about 180 services on five routes in the central belt and warns that other days will also be disrupted.

On an average weekday, the train company runs 2,150 services.

“We understand the disruption this strike will cause and apologize to passengers for the impact on their journeys,” Network Rail Scotland’s route director Liam Sumpter said, The Scottish Sun reports.

Because of a different pay dispute with the drivers’ union Aslef, which is now asking its members to accept a revised deal, the train company now operates under a new, shortened schedule of approximately 1,500 services, according to Insider.co.uk.

On the strike days of June 21, 23, and 25, ScotRail said it would only run trains from Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk High, Edinburgh to Bathgate, Glasgow to Hamilton/Larkhall, Glasgow to Lanark, and Edinburgh to Glasgow via Shotts.

According to ScotRail, rail lines will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with the last trains departing well before 6:30. It will have information for passengers on its website.

Other train companies will also operate on the east and west coast mainlines.

“Customers should expect significant service disruptions next week, including non-strike days.

“On the five routes where we can provide minimal service on strike days, we advise customers to seek alternative modes of transportation and travel only if necessary,” said ScotRail’s service delivery director, David Simpson, The Scottish Sun reports.

On strike days in Scotland, the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh runs from June 23 to June 26, and a Barry Manilow concert at the Hydro in Glasgow takes place.

Over 40,000 RMT members are expected to participate in the strike, dubbed “the biggest rail strike in modern history.”

Employees from Network Rail Scotland and cross-border train operators LNER, CrossCountry, Avanti West Coast, and TransPennine Express are included.

Although ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper staff are not participating in the strike, their services will also be disrupted.

The signal workers are employed by Network Rail, which manages most of the UK’s railway tracks and stations.

The RMT said it is open to negotiations, and its members have been subject to pay freezes, job threats, and attacks on their terms and conditions.

The action is separate from the dispute between ScotRail and the Aslef union, which has seen hundreds of trains canceled each day after many drivers opted not to work overtime.

Some late-night rail services resumed after a breakthrough in pay talks last week, The BBC reports.

Aslef says it recommends that its members accept the deal on the table. The ballot results should be known on July 11, The Scottish Sun reported.

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