No metro: the London Underground hit by a strike, the day after a rail walkout

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LONDON (AP) — A strike by London Underground workers brought the British capital’s public transport network to a standstill on Friday, a day after a nationwide strike by railway staff. Another railway strike is scheduled for Saturday as the UK endures a summer of action by workers demanding pay rises to offset soaring food and energy prices.

No Tube trains were running on most London Underground lines due to the jobs, wages and pensions strike by members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union, operator Transport for London said.

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« It’s going to be a tough day, » said Nick Dent, TFL’s director of customer operations. « We advise customers not to travel on the metro at all. »

There was also continued disruption above ground as trains started running again after Thursday’s strike by thousands of rail cleaners, flagmen, maintainers and other staff. Only around a fifth of trains ran during the 24-hour strike, the latest in a series of strikes on Britain’s railways.

Rail unions accuse Britain’s Conservative government of preventing rail companies – which are private but heavily regulated – from getting a better deal. The government denies interference, but says rail companies must cut costs and staff after two years in which emergency government funding kept them afloat.

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Times Radio that ‘it’s a kick in the teeth’ to the public that the unions are ‘turning around after providing £16billion in support to the railways and saying « Okay, 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 the end of the month.

Garbage collectors and recyclers in Edinburgh, Scotland, began an 11-day strike on Thursday, warning that rubbish 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% in July, and the Bank of England said it could hit 13% in the event of a recession later this year. The average UK household fuel bill has risen by more than 50% so far in 2022 as Russia’s war in Ukraine cuts global supplies of oil and natural gas. Another increase is expected in October, when the average bill is expected to reach 3,500 pounds ($4,300) per year.


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