LONDON (AP) — Train drivers from eight British rail companies will go on strike later this month in the second large-scale industrial action to hit commuters in July.

Train drivers’ union Aslef said on Thursday that its members would stand down for 24 hours on July 30 over pay disputes. The disruption, which comes during the busy summer holidays, is expected to affect sports fans attending the Commonwealth Games, which start in Birmingham on July 28, and the opening weekend of the English Football League.

The announcement came after the Railway, Maritime and Transport Union said workers would strike on July 27.

Union leaders want a pay rise to tackle soaring inflation – currently at 9.1% – and a worsening cost of living crisis as energy and food bills rise.

Last month, tens of thousands of railway workers staged a three-day strike, paralyzing the country’s rail network in the biggest public transport strike in three decades.

The government says the country’s rail network is in dire need of modernization and that rail companies are looking to cut costs and staff as passenger numbers have fallen after the coronavirus pandemic.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the news of the new strike was “incredibly disappointing”.

“By apparently coordinating strike dates around the Commonwealth Games, it’s clear that union bosses are determined to cause as much misery as possible and derail an event the whole country is looking forward to,” he said. declared.

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