Saturday, June 10, 2023

No end in sight to attacks in crisis-hit Britain

by Farooq Suleiman and Natalie Thomas

LONDON, Jan 5 – The UK’s worst wave of strikes in decades could last until 2023, with neither side ready to back down, a union leader said on Thursday, as the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, confronts underlining the scale of the challenge.

A day after Sunak pledged to tackle the country’s problems, railway workers were on strike again in a week-long strike that paralyzed the network, while daily reports documented mounting pressure on hospitals where patients Regularly wait for hours and ambulances. In car parks.

The worst episode of labor unrest since Margaret Thatcher came to power in the 1980s, combined with a return to double-digit inflation, is causing a sense of disquiet in Britain, where life has risen since the data was recorded. The level is falling at its fastest pace. in the 1950s.

Mick Whelan, head of the ASLEF machinists’ union, said it was now difficult for the government to reach higher pay deals when so many workers from so many sectors are involved.

“No one wants to solve anything because it will have implications elsewhere,” he told Reuters at a Euston train station in north London, which was almost deserted during the morning commute.

He said, “We have so many people on strike and so many people suffering that only the government can turn this around, or a change of government (…) We are in this for the long term.”

Nurses, paramedics, border force personnel and postal workers have also gone on strike, angered by inflation hitting a 40-year high and reaching 10.7% in November. Workers from other areas are mobilizing.


The strikes follow more than 10 years of wage stagnation and the blow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the government has announced it cannot afford to give public sector employees pay hikes at par with inflation.

On Thursday he urged unions to resume talks and expressed a desire for a more transparent process on how wage increases are determined, but reiterated that he does not want to do anything with the need to control inflation and rein in spending. Growth also has to be balanced.

The government also warned it had a duty to protect services, saying new legislation to be tabled in parliament in the coming weeks would force striking workers to cut basic service providers in sectors such as firefighting, ambulance and railways .

However, it would take time to take effect, and British Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer, whose party leads Sunak’s Conservative Party by two points in opinion polls, said Britain was in chaos.

Walking across London Bridge, Juliet Maxum, 53, who works in public relations, said it was hard not to feel sad about the state of Britain and the challenge facing the government.

“We have to raise wages, but where does the money come from? That’s the problem”.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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