The metro and train mechanics went on strike in Great Britain today. The trade union committee announced the beginning of the strike several days in advance. The major requirement of the strikers is a salary raise for the mechanics. The railways and the British metro have been privatized, monopolized actually, which immediately exerted influence on the service quality: the delays reached the level of 45%.
Pursuant to the results of the last couple of years, Great Britain is taking the sad leading position in Europe on the number of accidents happening with the railway passenger traffic. A bus driver of the company ARRIVA – almost a monopoly in the northwest of England – has the wages that are a bit higher than the minimum fixed by the state.
The railway activity in the northwest of England died for a day. Traffic jams and coming late to work, this is a normal day for the English people living in that region. However, the people treat the railway strike with understanding, because the railway traffic problems have already set everybody’s teeth on the edge. The sooner this problem is solved, the better it will be for everyone.
Svetlana Tarasova PRAVDA.Ru London
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/01/24/35992.html