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Schools, train stations shut as UK workers embark on ‘biggest strike in a decade’

Schools, train stations shut as UK workers embark on ‘biggest strike in a decade’
February 01
19:28 2023

Thousands of workers in the United Kingdom, on Wednesday, embarked on a strike, described as the “biggest” industrial action in a decade.

Members of several trade unions are participating in the industrial action — a development that caused disruptions to school operations and transport systems.

Aside from calls for pay rise, workers have taken to the streets across the UK to protest against the plan of government to introduce a new law on minimum levels of service during strikes.

The proposed law seeks to allow heads of key public health sectors, including health, and education, to sue unions and sack employees if minimum levels are not met.


The proposed law has elicited harsh reactions and thousands of people have signed a petition against it.

On Wednesday, more than 100,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union reportedly participated in the strike, including border agency staff at ports and airports.

Picket lines were mounted outside railway stations, schools, government departments, and universities across the UK.


Paul Nowak, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), said the protests would send a strong message to the government about the displeasure of the high number of workers.

Also speaking on the strike, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said the current system was unsustainable and that government needs to take urgent action.

“The government’s position is unsustainable. It’s not feasible that they can sit back with this unprecedented amount of industrial action growing, because it’s half a million today, next week we have paramedics and we have nurses, there will then be the firefighters,” he said.

“So, the amount of people voting for action is going to grow and I don’t believe the government will find it can get away with putting its head down while all this disruption takes place.


“We are planning for our campaign to continue right through the summer with long-term, sustained, targeted strikes, but also mass action like today.”


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