UK Snack ‘sad’ about strike disruption but insists it won’t talk about public sector salaries

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “sad” and “disappointed” by the widespread disruption caused by the strike, but said it was “the right thing to do” to refuse to negotiate public sector salaries. claimed.

Speaking to the station during a visit to a homeless shelter in London, Sunak said:

“On the difficult issue of setting public wages, the government has acted fairly and rationally by accepting all the recommendations of public sector salary review bodies,” he added.

The prime minister argued that it was “the right thing for the whole country” not to negotiate wages with striking workers.

Epoch Times photo
Members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) picket outside Alder Hay Children’s Hospital in Liverpool on 15 December 2022 as nurses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland take action over wages. (Peter Byrne/PA Media)

he said:

He added: That’s why we have independent processes.

“We know the situation is difficult, but it is right that we have an independent body that makes recommendations to the government and that the government has accepted them. We have increased our offers and matched all those recommendations. I think it makes sense to do so, and in the long run it’s right for the whole country to beat inflation.”

Border staff on strike

About 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, which is employed by the Home Office to run the passport booths, announced on Friday that airports in Heathrow, Birmingham, Cardiff, Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, and East Sussex of New Haven.

Military personnel were stationed at the port to check passports during the daily Border Force strikes for the rest of the year, except on December 27.

Travelers have been warned by border patrol bosses to expect delays, amid concerns that long queues at passport control could cause people to be detained on planes and disrupt subsequent departures. In. However, the airport appeared to be functioning normally on Friday.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “The morning peak of arrivals is off to a good start. The immigration halls are flowing freely at Heathrow and Border Patrol and Military Emergency are providing excellent service.”

However, PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka threatened to escalate industrial action unless the government proposed better salaries.

“I think the action at the border is very effective. So I hope the government does the right thing, avoids the negotiating table and throws some money up front,” he told BBC Radio 4. told the Today show.

He added: We have strike funding which means we can sustain this behavior. Our strike orders will last him until May. We will support this action until May and re-vote if necessary.

“I think January will see a significant escalation of this behavior among civil servants and the rest of the economy unless the government avoids the negotiating table.”

chaos in hospital

It follows a two-day strike by National Health Service (NHS) staff that saw thousands of nurses out on Tuesday and paramedics joining the picket line on Wednesday.

On Friday, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) announced two more days of industrial action in England on 18th and 19th January.

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said the union had “no choice” but to act.

“The government had the opportunity to end this controversy before Christmas, but instead chose to send nursing staff out into the cold again in January,” she said, adding: We believe this is the right thing to do for the patient and her NHS future. ”

Meanwhile, a planned post-Christmas strike by GMB union paramedics was suspended.

GMB Secretary of State Rachel Harrison said the union was suspending the strike because it was “overwhelmed by the incredible public support for paramedics and paramedics on Wednesday.”

she said: They support us and we support them. ”

However, she added:

She urged the government to “do what ambulance workers and the public want.”

Multiple sectors affected

The UK has been hit by industrial action in multiple areas.

Highway workers serving the motorways and main A roads in London and the South East, represented by the PCS union, are also continuing a four-day strike that began on Thursday.

Postal workers, represented by the Communications Workers’ Union, stepped out in action on December 5 in a move that the Royal Mail criticized as “a cynical attempt to hold Christmas for ransom”.

The company said it would do everything it could to get the Christmas mail delivered, and said industrial action had cost it £100m ($120m).

Rail workers from the RMT union will stage another strike starting at 6pm on Christmas Eve, which could keep people from returning home for Christmas.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan