Major disruption expected in UK as 48-hour railway strike begins
Passengers across England are expected to face two days of disruption as thousands of railway workers from two rail unions are holding industrial action on Friday and Saturday.
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Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) union began industrial action on Friday over an ongoing pay dispute with train companies.
Separately, the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) members will walk out on Saturday after the union rejected the 4% pay rise offer from the Rail Delivery Group.
While the commuters are expected to be highly affected for 48 hours, ASLEF strike will most likely hit the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United, which will take place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
According to National Rail, the companies that are impacted by the strikes are Avanti West Coast, C2C, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Northern, Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia (including Stansted Express), LNER, London Northwestern Railway, Northern Rail, South Western Railway, Southeastern (ASLEF days only), Southern (including Gatwick Express), Thameslink, TransPennine Express and West Midlands Railway.
Meanwhile, the RMT secretary general, Mick Lynch, on Friday wrote a letter to British lawmakers, decrying the government's handling of the long running national railway dispute.
Accusing the government of deliberately "squandering billions of pounds on a futile war against the rail unions," he demanded from the MPs to push the government to facilitate an improved offer that "will protect staffing and services and deliver a fairer deal for rail workers."
"Instead of working to end the dispute, amidst a cost-of-living crisis it appears to have no idea how to tackle, the UK government has spent the last year squandering billions of pounds on a futile war against the rail unions, all in the name of delivering reforms that passengers do not want."