Tens of Thousands of UK Workers on Strike as Inflation Crushes Wages
Story Code : 1009901
The UK’s train network will be facing further heavy disruption on Thursday and Saturday in major walkouts that follow the sector’s biggest strike action for 30 years already this summer.
Tens of thousands of staff are expected to strike over the two days, leaving a skeleton train service that will hit holiday-makers and commuters.
London’s Underground railway, commonly known as the Tube, will be hit by a strike on Saturday, ahead of an eight-day stoppage starting on Sunday by dockers at Felixstowe, Britain’s largest freight port, located in eastern England.
“We will continue to do whatever is necessary to defend jobs, pay and conditions during this cost-of-living crisis,” Sharon Graham, head of major British union Unite, said this week.
Official data on Wednesday showed UK inflation at a 40-year high above 10 percent, as soaring food and energy prices hurt millions of Britons.
And the situation is set to worsen under a new prime minister, as under-fire Boris Johnson prepares to step down.
The Bank of England has forecast inflation to top 13 percent this year, tipping the British economy into a deep and long-lasting recession.
Inflation has soared worldwide this year on surging energy prices.
Some proposed strikes planned for the British summer have been halted after unions and companies agreed pay deals at the 11th hour.
But while British Airways ground staff and plane refuellers at Heathrow airport have scrapped proposed walkouts, other sectors are holding firm.
More than 115,000 British postal workers employed by the formerly state-run Royal Mail plan a four-day strike from the end of August.
Telecoms giant BT will face its first stoppage in 35 years and walkouts have recently taken place or are soon to occur by Amazon warehouse staff, criminal lawyers and refuse collectors.
Major UK business lobby group, the CBI, this week acknowledged workers’ ongoing “struggle with rising costs like energy prices” and said employers were “doing their level best to support staff.”