Strikes bring fresh transport chaos to Britain
Industrial action brought fresh disruption for travellers in Britain on Tuesday as rail workers and airline cabin crew walked off the job, the day after a major strike on the London Underground.
British Airways was forced to cancel 48 flights over two days at London’s Heathrow airport after cabin crew began a 48-hour strike, but said it would ensure that all passengers were able to travel.
The Unite union called the strike after rejecting a deal proposed by the airline in December, which union leaders called “poverty pay” levels for staff who joined after 2010.
Meanwhile commuters heading into London were hit by yet another strike on Southern rail, which caused virtually all services between the southern English coast and the capital to be cancelled.
The walkout by members of the Aslef union is the latest in a string of strikes in the past few weeks in a bitter dispute over the operator’s plans to downgrade the role of the train conductor.
Southern wants drivers to be able to operate train doors, not conductors, as is the case on many trains in Britain. But the union says this risks passenger safety.
The strike, which has the backing of opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, will continue into Wednesday and resume on Friday, while further action is also planned for three days later in the month.
London’s subway system was virtually shut down on Monday due to a 24-hour strike by members of the RMT union over job cuts and ticket office closures.