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London, June 21

Britain's biggest rail strike in 30 years kicked off on Tuesday as tens of thousands of staff walked out in a dispute over pay and jobs that could pave the way for widespread industrial action across the economy in coming months.

Some of the more than 40,000 rail workers who are due to strike on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday gathered at picket lines from dawn, leaving the network at a standstill and major stations deserted. The London Underground metro was also mostly closed.

PM Boris Johnson, under pressure to do more to help British households facing the toughest economic hit in decades, said the action would harm businesses as they continue to recover from the pandemic. He said, "Now is the time to come to a sensible compromise.” Unions said the strike could mark the start of a "summer of discontent" with teachers, medics, waste disposal workers and barristers moving towards industrial action as surging food and fuel prices push inflation to 10 per cent. — Reuters




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