UK strike continues as government rejects ‘double-digit pay raises’

With strikes continuing in Britain, border guard officers, driving inspectors and railroad workers resumed industrial action on Wednesday over wages and job security.

Unions are holding the government accountable for the disruption and demanding that ministers allow wage increases, but Downing Street said ministers “want people to agree to a fair wage solution”. But he said, “We cannot allow double-digit wage increases that incorporate rising inflation.” Forward. “

Over 1,000 border control staff at the largest airports across the UK (London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow) and the Port of Newhaven, a member of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) , the second part of an eight-day strike ending on New Year’s Eve.

The first part of the strike, which was staged at Christmas from December 23rd to December 26th, caused minimal disruption after military personnel were drafted during a quiet period, but PCS Secretary Mark Serwodka said: Cho warned that the campaign could last for months.

Epoch Times photo
Members of the Public Commercial Service (PCS) union picket outside Birmingham Airport, England, 23 December 2022. (Jacob King/PA Media)

Also on Wednesday, PCS members at 71 driving test sites in the East of England and the Midlands launched a five-day strike from 28 December to 31 December and 3 January.

of monthly rolling strike Employees of the Driver and Vehicle Standard Agency (DVSA) will travel to various regions between December 13th and January 16th.

Serwotka said PCS members had been offered a 2% wage increase if inflation exceeded 10%, blaming the government for the confusion.

“We know our actions will cause widespread disruption and inconvenience to people in the East of England and the Midlands. Hundreds of driving tests have already been canceled in other parts of the country, but responsibility rests with the government.” There is,’ he said.

“These strikes could be called off tomorrow if Rishi Snack and Jeremy Hunt put in some money.”

The November PCS surveyed more than 100,000 members from 214 employers in civil servants and related sectors about their strike behavior regarding wages, pensions, employment and termination conditions.members from 124 government departments and public bodies voted in favor of the strike.

The union said its members voted to demand “a 10% wage increase, fair pensions, job security and no reduction in terms of dismissal.”

In addition to the DVSA strikes, unions planned or announced strikes by employees of the National Highways, the Department of Work and Pensions, and the Driver’s Licensing Authority.

No action has been announced so far by the Cabinet Office, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Parliament, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transport, the UK Space Agency and the UK Health Security Agency.

rail strike

Disruption in public services comes after months of strikes over wages, conditions and jobs by workers across sectors including railroad workers, postal workers, barristers, teachers, nurses and ambulance workers .

Disruptions in rail services are also underway as members of the Transport Salary Staff Association (TSSA) of the Great Western Railway and West Midlands Trains are out from Wednesday noon to Thursday noon.

Hundreds of people waited and delayed at major train stations across London after a turbulent day of travel, despite a rail strike by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT) coming to an end. Many trips were delayed because of Handover of civil works.

Epoch Times photo
Passengers wait at the barriers at King’s Cross station after a strike by members of the Railway, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) amid a long-running dispute over jobs and pensions in London on December 27, 2022. (James Manning/PA Media)

Passengers have been told to prepare for a “massively disrupted” trip into the new year amid a wave of industrial unrest sweeping across the country.

Network Rail issued the warning amid a series of long-running disputes over wages and working conditions.

The i newspaper reported that the TSSA is poised to allow different sections of its members to vote at different times to conduct multiple strikes in a week.

A spokesperson told the paper: for strike action.

TSSA organization chief Nadine Rae told BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme that the union wanted the government to withdraw.

When asked by the Daily Mail, citing sources suggesting railroad unions and industry executives are “almost in agreement” on a wage deal, Ray said: Allow employers to bargain freely and close deals that are acceptable to members and affordable to employers. “

Ray told the station he believes the negotiations “worked really well.”

When asked if “almost there” was too optimistic, she said:

“It is the government that needs to change this situation and we want them to do so. We know the chaos is frustrating for people,” she added.

A spokesman for Downing Street told reporters on Wednesday that the government maintained its position that it wanted to end the strike, but cast cold water on the possibility of double-digit wage increases.

“We want to end the strikes and get people to agree to a fair wage settlement, but as I said before, what we can’t do is to embed the upcoming double-digit inflation. is to allow wages to rise, which will affect the amount of money people have going forward,” he said.

Regarding the rail strike, a spokesman said: Reach a fair agreement with your employer. “

He said contingency plans for the Christmas period are in place, adding: “The prime minister wants employers and unions to reach a fair deal.”

PA Media contributed to this report.

Lily Zhou

Lily Zhou is an Ireland-based reporter focusing on UK news. Lily said she attended the Chinese version of The Epoch Times for the first time before she focused on the UK in 2020.