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British minister calls rail strikes a ‘huge mistake’

British transport secretary Grant Shapps has called planned rail strikes a ‘huge mistake’ that will prevent people from attending hospital appointments, taking school exams, or going to work.


This week’s action comes as British airports face chaotic delays and last-minute cancellations, and many Britons face a massive backlog at the passport office.


It also highlights pressures on British households, which are facing the most severe cost-of-living squeeze since the 1950s, with rail workers claiming pay cuts at a time when inflation is skyrocketing.


In response to criticism that the government should intervene to force an agreement and prevent a strike, Shapps stated on Sunday that it was up to employers to negotiate with their employees.


‘I think this is a huge mistake,’ Shapps told Sky News. ‘Unfortunately, the unions… have been gunning for this strike throughout.’ ‘It’s disastrous, and it’s not proper railway behaviour.’


More than 50,000 rail workers will go on strike on June 21, 23, and 25, in a dispute over pay freezes and job cuts, in what the Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) union calls the sector’s largest strike in more than 30 years.


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