Football fans are set to face major disruptions as train drivers from sixteen companies go on strike today. This strike will affect supporters heading to Premier League and EFL matches. Additionally, fans attending the Tory party conference in Manchester will be hit by the strikes on Tuesday and Wednesday, which marks a full strike day as the conference concludes.
Rail, Maritime and Transport Union brings London Underground to a halt
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will also bring the London Underground to a standstill with strike action planned for Wednesday and Friday. The RMT is joining forces with the train drivers to protest for better pay and improved working conditions.
No pay rise for train drivers in four years
The General Secretary of the Aslef union, Mick Whelan, has expressed that the strike is a response to the lack of pay rise for train drivers for the past four years. Whelan argues that this is unacceptable, especially considering the rise in prices over that time period. He states, "Train drivers, perfectly reasonably, want to be able to buy now what they could buy four years ago."
Department for Transport claims offer improves salaries
However, the Department for Transport counters these claims and asserts that they have made a fair offer to train drivers. They state that their offer would increase train drivers' salaries from £60,000 to £65,000 per year. The department emphasizes that this figure is more than double the average UK salary and points out that many train drivers earn extra income through overtime work.
As football fans brace for travel chaos, tensions continue to rise between the unions and the government over fair pay and working conditions. The impact of the strikes will be felt by not just the fans, but also by commuters relying on the rail and London Underground network.
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