America’s Train Workers Aren’t the Only Ones Striking

Yau Ming Low /
Yau Ming Low /

Trains are an important form of transportation – not only for us to move about the country but also to move goods from one location to another.
For the better part of last year, we heard about US strikes from rail workers. They weren’t getting the kids of benefits that they deserved. And many of the negotiations stalled.

It wasn’t until President Biden essentially steamrolled everyone and told them that they were to work – not caring at all whether they were able to get sick days or not.

The US isn’t the only country dealing with the railway strikes, either. It seems that the UK is dealing with similar problems – and it’s causing QUITE the disruption.

All across the UK, commuters are being advised that they need to rely on a different form of transportation other than trains. And that’s because there are more strikes going on as British rail workers demand better pay and improved working conditions.

It has been estimated that around half of the railway lines in the UK are closed.

Most of last week resulted in members of the Rail, Maritime, and Transport union striking. And the days they didn’t strike, the Aslef union did.
The majority of Scotland and Wales had absolutely no train service at all.

What is it with major countries ignoring the needs of rail workers? Obviously, rail workers need to feel appreciated – and they have proven that their services are needed.

The UK’s Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, has been urging union leaders to negotiate. The government has offered a “very fair pay offer.” There’s one problem, though. According to union boss Mick Lynch, government officials aren’t offering any fresh proposals. He has even gone as far as suggesting that the government is blocking an agreement from happening.

Lynch spoke to Sky News during a picket line and explained, “What we keep hearing is the same stuff from the government across the sectors that they want to facilitate an agreement, but they don’t actually do anything.”

That certainly sounds a lot like what the rail workers in the US have been dealing with. The government doesn’t actually want to negotiate – they are demanding that the rail workers just accept whatever deal is offered to them.

With inflation on the rise everywhere, the reality is that people want to see higher wages to match that inflation.

Governments need to start listening. Otherwise, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to worker strikes around the globe.