United Kingdom | Christmas strikes planned in transport

(LONDON) Britain’s motorways, trains and air transport have been hit by strikes over the Christmas holidays, complicating family celebrations and holidays for locals and tourists in the UK two years after the pandemic.

The civil service union PCS, which has been carrying out ongoing actions in various parts of the civil service, announced in a press release on Friday that its members working on highways will “participate in a 12-day walkout” between December 16. and January 7.

The union says services will be “suspended” due to the move, which coincides with rail strikes planned by the RMT union, which has been staging walkouts for months to demand pay rises in line with inflation and better working conditions.

“We know the actions of our members may cause inconvenience to travelers who want to visit loved ones this holiday season, but they are being driven there by a government that won’t listen to its own employees,” PCS commented in a press release.

“Given the severe cost of living crisis, they deserve to be properly paid for the important work they do, keeping our roads in good shape and safe,” he added.

PCS says it will announce new dates for strikes in other departments, including the Home Office, within weeks.

At the same time, strikes by railway workers organized by several unions continue throughout December, and several days of walkouts by security guards working on Eurostar have also been announced.

The TSSA union announced a bigger-than-expected strike on rail on Friday 17 December, with more members joining the RMT union’s planned walkout.

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Workers on the Elizabeth Underground line in London will also vote for a possible walkout, demanding a better pay rise than the 4% offered by Transport for London.

Finally, 350 baggage handlers employed by a subcontractor at Heathrow, the country’s largest airport, are also planning a 72-hour strike from December 16.

Faced with 11% inflation and a severe cost of living crisis, the United Kingdom has been hit for months by a series of strikes across all sectors of the economy, particularly in logistics and the post office. Paramedical staff or nurses also started an unprecedented strike.

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