LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 16: Protesters from range of different trade unions at a rally against United Kingdom government plans restrict ability of public you can see how the workers of the sector are on strike outside downing street on January 16, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images)
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LONDON – More half a million British workers must strike by Wednesday with trade unions through range of sectors in labor disputes over pay and working conditions.
Among them are 300,000 teachers. in England, who National Education Union says experienced at least 23% real-terms wage cuts since 2010; teachers in two unions in Scotland; about 100,000 civil servants throughout more over 100 departments including driving instructors, coast guard and of Work and pension staff; 70,000 university staff, including faculty and security personnel; and approximately 100,000 trains drivers.
There have never been such mass strikes place after a dispute over public industry pay in 2011 when more over a million workers were estimated to have taken part in the strike.
Dozens of thousands of schools will be closed or partially closed, travel and other services will be interrupted, and work set up hundreds of picketing and holding rallies.
Requirements vary according to union but include wage increases ahead of inflation, including to compensate real-terms wages are falling pension reform; and no cuts in redundancy terms. NEU says teaching in “crisis” as personnel are forced out of profession and calls for wages above inflation rise.
The protests will also to be over bill that was passed in Lower house of parliament on Tuesday, which aims to provide minimum levels of service in some industries with some workers may be fired if they refuse work when required on strike days.
Most unions spend a few days of strikes, some like railway, distributed by months. Wednesday was agreed by the unions as a day of mass strikes to send a message.
This follows the National Health Service ambulance strikes drivers and nurses who call not only for pay rise but they say that the lack of manpower made working conditions are almost impossible.
Postal workers have also was on strike and the firefighters voted for future strike action.
Average salary excluding bonuses increased by 2.7% in in public sector between August and October as inflation exceeded 10%. This is compared with salary increase by 6.9% in in private sector, according to national statistics.
While inflation began to cool down a bit, it remains at historical highs and acute in areas that affect workers the most on lower salaries. Grocery price inflation hit a record 16.7% in four weeks until January 22nd.
The Trades Union Congress described the bill as “wrong unworkable and almost certainly illegal”.
During a wide strike on Wednesday government A spokesman told CNBC: “Since the threat of these strikes has been raised, government prepares to do everything possible to mitigate any violations caused and we have extensive contingencies plans in place.”
“Of course, best softening would be for union bosses call off planned strikes to continue negotiations and reach an agreement.”