off the rails
The United Kingdom is headed for another national railway walkout on Thursday after Wednesday negotiations between the Rail, Maritime, and Transport Union (RMT) and employers "ended in deadlock," The Associated Press reports.
Britain is currently facing its biggest and "most disruptive" railway strike in 30 years, after thousands of rail workers on Tuesday walked out in protest of pay, working conditions, and job security, writes AP. Another two strikes are planned for Thursday and Saturday.
On Wednesday, the RMT claimed the government had ruined bargaining talks, and warned that Thursday's 24-hour walkout would consequently move forward as scheduled. Company Network Rail said it was "disappointed" RMT walked away from negotiations, and that it's "available for talks, day or night."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, has blamed those striking for the "unnecessary" disruptions, condemning protesters for complicating Britons' commute, "risking people's health appointments," and "making it challenging for kids to sit exams."
Travel complications continued from Tuesday into Wednesday, when only about 60 percent of normal services were up and running, per BBC News. Things were also made worse on Tuesday by a separate but simultaneous pension-related strike in London's Underground subway system. It marked the first time both the railway and Underground workers had protested together since 1989, per The Wall Street Journal.
The planned Saturday strike could apparently be avoided if a deal is made with 48 hours' notice, BBC News reports.