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Britain prepares for new series of strikes in New Year

The UK faces a new wave of strike action in the New Year as nurses, ambulance staff and rail workers prepare to leave for wages.

The PCS union, which represents striking civil servants, including border guard officers, warned on Friday that industrial action would escalate further if the government continued to refuse to negotiate wages.

Britons prepare for travel disruptions over the Christmas period as the RMT rail union plans to strike on Christmas Eve. This means that UK roads are likely to be much busier than usual.

Rishi snacks are in contention Series of strikes across public and private sectors Workers are responding to the cost of living crisis by demanding higher wages.

The prime minister, who has argued public sector wages need to be curbed to curb high inflation, said on Friday he was “sad and disappointed” by the level of disruption caused by industrial action.

“I want to make sure that inflation stays under control. Part of that is taking responsibility for setting salaries in the public sector,” he added.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka warned of months of civil service-wide strikes if the government refused to discuss wage negotiations with unions this year.

“Unless the government avoids the negotiating table, I think we will see a significant escalation of this behavior among civil servants and the rest of the economy in January,” he told the BBC.

The Royal College of Nursing, which organized strikes by nurses last week and Tuesday, further industrial action January 18th and 19th in England

The RCN said ministers could avoid further strikes by agreeing to enter into talks on a settlement on NHS payments this year.

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen said the government “had the opportunity to end this controversy before Christmas, but instead chose to send nursing staff out into the cold again in January.”

RCN is demanding a 19% wage increase. In July, the government accepted the recommendations of an independent review body, and following this recommendation, most NHS workers in the UK received a pay raise of £1,400 on a flat rate backdated to his April. This represents an increase of about 4% in average base salaries.

In Scotland where RCN members are Vote for “Overwhelming” The union will announce a date for the strike in the new year to reject the Scottish government’s offer of an average 7.5 per cent wage increase.

Meanwhile, the GMB union, which represents ambulance workers, has called off a strike scheduled for 28 December in England and Wales, saying it does not want to worry the public at Christmas.

However, it announced a January 11 strike at the same time as a strike planned by the Unison union, which also represented paramedics.

Ambulance unions want wage increases that at least match inflation.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay has accused trade unions of announcing “further coordinated strikes in January to cause maximum chaos at a time when the NHS is already under extreme pressure”. .

Latest data from NHS England It showed that around 35,000 surgeries and outpatient appointments have been canceled since the current wave of NHS strikes began last week. Health leaders are increasingly concerned about the cumulative impact on an already severely expanded NHS.

Saffron Cordery, interim chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents health services across the country, said the suspension of next week’s ambulance workers’ strike will postpone the chaos into the new year. . . under normal circumstances”.

Meanwhile, Border Patrol officials on Friday launched an eight-day strike at six UK airports, including London’s Heathrow Airport.

The government has warned travelers heading to airports to prepare for delays at immigration and has recruited military personnel to cover immigration officers’ strikes.

However, on Saturday morning, Heathrow Airport was operating as normal. A spokesperson for the airport said, “Immigration halls are providing an excellent level of service to arriving passengers due to the border guard and military emergency, allowing them to move freely.”

The PCS has strongly criticized the government for offering 2% salaries to Border Patrol officers this year and is demanding 10%.

On the railroad, at 6pm on Christmas Eve, RMT members will start another strike over rewards. The overtime ban will cause chaos for the remainder of December, with more strikes planned for January.

AA Automotive Organization president Edmund King said drivers were facing a “pre-Christmas traffic nightmare”.

Additional reporting by Jennifer Williams, Manchester and Lucaño Munyanda, Edinburgh

https://www.ft.com/content/f5123b82-84a5-4af4-93e9-420803b8128f Britain prepares for new series of strikes in New Year

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