Is Britain facing a summer of strikes? – podcast

This week, 40,000 rail workers joined the biggest nationwide rail strike in the UK for 30 years. On Thursday, the RMT union enters its second day of industrial action, which will see train services suspended across Britain. The union argues that rail workers, like many workers, are struggling to keep up with the spiralling cost of living.

At PMQs on Wednesday, Boris Johnson claimed it was not the government’s place to intervene in the negotiations between Network Rail, train operators and the union. He said it was “up to the railway companies to negotiate. That is their job.” But is it that simple? The Guardian and Observer’s transport correspondent, Gwyn Topham, tells Nosheen Iqbal how the dispute got this far, and what it would take for both sides to come to an agreement.

The Guardian’s columnist and senior economics commentator, Aditya Chakrabortty, explains what the strike reveals about the cost of living crisis and the political moment we are in. He argues that this is just the start, and that workers in other industries will soon follow suit.

RMT pickets

Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

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