Britain braces for 48-hour rail strike

Aug. 12, 2009 at 6:31 PM
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LONDON, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- London lurched toward another 48-hour railroad workers walkout Wednesday evening, officials said.

The third in a series of two-day strikes was to begin at 12:01 a.m. Thursday local time and end a minute before midnight Friday, the BBC reported. Next month,

Affected by the failure of talks between the workers' unions and National Express will be some of the busiest railway lines into London, the British network said. The routes include lines to Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire,

National Express officials said most services will not run and any trains that do are expected to be "extremely busy."

A spokesman for Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen said the union's leadership also has decided to call a strike for a full week in September.

Besides ASLEF-covered workers, members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association are taking part.

An ASLEF spokesman said negotiations of pay and work conditions had become "increasingly fractious and unproductive" and there had been "no notable progress" despite three days of talks.

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