UK Rail workers go on strike

Tuesday, 9 August, 2016 - 11:30

Thousands of train passengers in Britain have been caught up in a transport chaos, as a five-day walkout by rail workers enters its second day.

Employees of Southern, one of the UK’s major train operating companies, walked out from their positions on Monday, to protest planned job changes which may lead to staff cuts.

Southern has admitted that 946 of its daily 2,242 trains will be cancelled due to the industrial action which is reportedly the longest of its kind since 1968.

The railways moves some 300,000 passengers from London Victoria and London Bridge to Surrey and Sussex. The company said Monday that it was only able to operate 60 percent of its regular services due to the walkout.

The decision has been disputed by Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, which argues the change of jobs will be detrimental to passenger safety.

“Members are taking strike action and losing pay because they are concerned about passenger safety,” the RMT said in a statement.

The union further argued that a 64-percent rise in Southern’s passengers numbers over the past 16 years means that there should always a guard be on board “to protect the safety of the train and passengers.”