London, Dec 13 (EFE) – British railway workers went on a four-day strike on Tuesday calling for better wages and causing major travel disruption.
Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) are set to strike for 48 hours, return to work on Thursday, and then return to the strike on Friday and Saturday.
About 20% of rail services are expected to be operational during the strike following failed negotiations between workers and Network Rail.
Network Rail urged people to “only travel if absolutely necessary,” on Twitter.
The strike comes after heavy snowfall led to the closure of some of the biggest airports and the suspension of London’s subway service.
The RMT union is demanding a 7% wage increase this year since British inflation has already reached 11.1% but Network Rail has offered a maximum increase of 5%.
In an interview with the BBC on Monday, RMT chief Mick Lynch accused the Conservative government of “deliberately obstructing” a deal with the union.
“They are obstructing these deals because they want to keep wages lowered and they want to strip out the terms and conditions for many people,” said Lynch.
The postal service is also planning industrial action slated for Wednesday and Thursday, and nurses are also planning to strike on Thursday.
Over the weekend, employees working on the maintenance of runways and baggage handlers at London’s Heathrow airport will keep service to the minimum. EFE