Widespread industrial action across numerous business sectors is now threatening the UK’s infrastructure, and this Summer looks to be a season of discontent, disruption and chaos.
Rail, Tube & Trams
Rail, tube and tram workers will stage a mass walkout this month. More than 50,000 workers across Network Rail and 13 out of 15 train operators are striking over pay and job cuts. Despite contingency plans to run freight trains during the day it will mean that supply chains will be impacted. A spokes person for the RMT “We don’t want to cause anyone disruption, but industrial action has to be effective if it is going to make the rail bosses sit up and come to a negotiated settlement with the RMT.
“All those affected by our proposed strike action should direct their anger and frustration at the government and the rail industry for failing to give railway workers a decent pay rise and proposing to cut thousands of jobs on the network.”
Employees working for the BT Group – which includes BT, Openreach and EE – could also stage industrial action over the summer. They too are demanding more pay, having been hit by the cost-of-living crisis. The Communication Workers Union are asking members to vote on whether or not to strike on the 15th June. If these workers strike then it will most likely have a massive impact on home broadband and wifi. Which won’t be good for those people who work from home.
Whilst passengers are already facing chaos and long delays at airports, with cancelled flights and lost baggage, this could be made worse as British Airways staff at Heathrow have voted in favour of holding a formal industrial action ballot. The strike ballot which is open from 7th to 23rd June will give workers to opportunity to vote on whether or not to strike over the summer months.
A spokesperson from British Airways said the ballot is “extremely disappointing”, adding: “After a deeply difficult two years which saw the business lose more than four billion pounds, these colleagues were offered a ten per cent payment for this year which was rejected.
“We remain fully committed to talks with our trade unions about their concerns and we hope that together we can find a way to reach an agreement in the best interests of our people and our customers.”
British Council workers will go on strike next week whilst Scottish council workers are currently balloting for industrial action which could shut down nurseries and schools.
Bin strikes – Bin workers across the country are also striking over pay, with other unions set to join the action. Councils across various areas of the UK are now facing a back log of uncollected bins for weeks.
Ryanair and easyJet strikes in Italy
Flight crews from Ryanair and easyJet, have already staged a 24-hour walk out on Wednesday 8 June, citing poor pay conditions.
Since then, numerous flights between London airports and Italian destinations have been cancelled over the past few days due to industrial action.
Arriva buses in various parts of Yorkshire have also been suspended indefinitely as drivers have walked out demanding an inflation-related pay increase.
Crown Post Offices workers and Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will strike over pay on Saturday. It is estimated that around 114 high-street Post-Office branches will be impacted.
Image credit BBC