UK to enter Christmas, New Year amid fresh strikes
In a run-up to Christmas and New Year, the UK has been facing a fresh wave of strikes hitting the country, sparked by a bitter cost-of-living crisis triggered by soaring inflation and a deteriorating economy.
Both unionized and non-unionized workers across Britain went on strike in the summer, and with the negative impact of Brexit, COVID-19, and lately the Russia-Ukraine war, the cost-of-living crisis has just got worse, causing more strikes during winter.
The UK's border staff at airports joined strikes on Friday, with hundreds of thousands of air passengers being warned of possible disruptions in the coming day.
Industrial action, which will take place from Friday to Monday, and again from Wednesday to Saturday, will have a negative impact on London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports, as well as Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, and Glasgow airports.
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The members of the UK's biggest rail union will also go on a strike after their demand for an above-inflation pay rise was rejected by the government.
The walkout by railway workers that started in the summer still continues, with about 40,000 staff members across Network Rail set to stage strike action from 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, on Saturday, Dec. 24, until 5.59 a.m. local time on Tuesday.
The Royal Mail staff will stage a strike as well, including members of the Communication Workers Union who collect, sort, and deliver parcels and letters.
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Meanwhile, the Royal College of Nursing announced further strikes by nurses in England on Jan. 18-19, saying, "Once again, we offered talks. Once again ministers refused to get round the table. Once again nursing staff are left with no choice."
Union leaders warned of a "huge escalation" of public sector strikes if pay offers do not improve.
Public and Commercial Services Union Secretary General Mark Serwotka told BBC Radio 4's Today program on Friday: "We have a strike fund that means we can sustain this action after Christmas. The strike mandate lasts right up until May – we will be supporting this action until May and we would reballot again if we have to."