July 30, 2009

Rail strike halts British trains

British rail travelers faced massive delays Thursday as union workers began a 48-hour walkout over wages and working conditions.

Workers at National Express East Anglia struck in a tense atmosphere in which union leader Bob Crowe said, National Express bosses "¦ have soaked up $4.1 billion in taxpayer subsidies in the past 10 years and "¦ have milked every penny out of this franchise while treating their staff like dirt.

National Express managing director Andrew Chivers called the union's demands totally unrealistic, especially in this current economic climate.

The company said it lost more than $33 million in the first half of the year on the East Coast rail line, which is scheduled to be nationalized soon, The Times of London reported.