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UK railway union plans second strike as gov't talks over sacking of thousands fail

LONDON, June 22 (KUNA) -- Britain's Railway and Maritime Transport (RMT) workers' union said on Wednesday it would hold a second strike tomorrow after the failure of its negotiations with transport authorities regarding wage increases and expected layoffs for 2,900 employees.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch accused Transport Secretary Grant Shapps of having "wrecked" these talks by not allowing contracted company, Network Rail, to withdraw their intention to sack the employees.
No progress in the negotiations could be expected until the government forces the company to search for alternatives to the systematic layoffs and the union's demands are met, with workers' rights guaranteed, Lynch warned.
Until then, the union will continue to organise the strikes that will affect all means of transport in Britain.
Tuesday's strike caused an almost complete paralysis of public transport across most British cities, with London being the most affected after more than 80 percent of trains were halted.
This caused an increased reliance on cars, buses and taxis, which led to major traffic jams in the British capital, alongside the disruption of trains linking major airports and main stations in London.
It is also expected that the trade union will organise a third strike on Saturday, causing disruptions to sports and cultural events across Britain as well as tourists, during a busy summer period. (end) mrn.sd