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Brunei
Thursday, September 29, 2022
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Thursday, September 29, 2022
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    London subway hit by strike, day after rail walkout

    LONDON (AP) – A strike by London Underground workers brought the British capital’s transit network to a grinding halt yesterday, a day after a nationwide walkout by railway staff.

    Another rail strike is scheduled for today as the United Kingdom (UK) endures a summer of action by workers demanding pay increases to offset soaring food and energy price hikes.

    No subway trains were running on most of London’s Tube lines because of the strike over jobs, pay and pensions by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union, operator Transport for London said.

    “It is going to be a difficult day,” said TFL’s Director of Customer Operations Nick Dent. “We’re advising customers not to travel on the Tube at all.”

    There was also continuing disruption above ground as trains started to run again following Thursday’s strike by thousands of railway cleaners, signallers, maintenance workers and other staff. Only about a fifth of trains ran during the 24-hour walkout, the latest in a series of strikes on Britain’s railways.

    Piccadilly line trains sit in their depot. PHOTO: AP

    Rail unions accuse Britain’s Conservative government of preventing train companies – which are privately owned but heavily regulated – from making a better offer. The government denies meddling, but says rail companies need to cut costs and staffing after two years in which emergency government funding kept them afloat.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Times Radio that “it’s a kick in the teeth” to the public for unions “to turn round after we provided GBP16 billion of support for the railways and go ‘Right, well, the next thing we’re going to do is go on strike’.”

    More public- and private-sector unions are planning strikes as Britain faces its worst cost-of-living crisis in decades. Postal workers, lawyers, British Telecom staff and port workers have all announced walkouts for later this month.

    Garbage collectors and recycling workers in Edinburgh, Scotland, began an 11-day strike on Thursday, warning that trash will pile up in the streets as tourists flock to the city for the Edinburgh Fringe and other arts festivals.

    UK inflation hit a new 40-year high of 10.1 per cent in July, and the Bank of England said it could rise to 13 per cent amid a recession later this year.

    The average UK household fuel bill has risen more than 50 per cent so far in 2022 as Russia’s war in Ukraine squeezes global oil and natural gas supplies.

    Another increase is due in October, when the average bill is forecast to hit GBP3,500 pounds a year.

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