It’s Friday, it’s February, it’s the 17th and another start of a series of strikes to affect the UK.
Border Force staff are beginning a four-day series of strikes today during half term for which some schools are already enjoying the break and just as others are about to start.
UK staff working at the Port of Dover, Calais, Port of Dunkirk and Coquelles Channel Tunnel Terminal are taking industrial action which will effect inbound travel into the UK causing longer waits for many.
Ambulance staff are striking in the West Midlands and Northern Ireland which should only effect non-life-threatening calls/situations.
‘The government has been warned about the crippling impact of the ongoing industrial unrest as analysis suggests recent strikes have caused a £6bn hit to the economy…………The economic cost of the industrial unrest seen since the summer amounts to at least £6.6bn, according to The Independent’s analysis of estimates by industry chiefs and economists. The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) puts the direct hit to businesses’ output from lost working days at £1.4bn in the eight months to January.
With the economy already struggling with challenging times this is a massive dent to add to it.
So why are so many people/unions striking? It mainly all boils down to pay and the rise in the cost of living. Each Industry on strike is wanting better pay on their terms. Some are wanting an increase in pensions and reassurance over job security and redundancies.
Member of the Royal College of Nursing have a planned 48 hour strike between the 1st to 3rd March ‘The strike will involve staff working in emergency departments, intensive care units, cancer care and other services who did not take part in the last strike. The RCN wants a rise of 5% above inflation but the UK government is offering an average pay rise of 4.75%’ (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business)
Teachers have a planned strike on the 15th & 16th March in England, The National Education Union has already rejected several proposals from the government which included a 1.5% pay rise.
Other upcoming strikes throughout February and March and into the start of April include Firefighters, Civil Servants, Physiotherapists, and Postal Workers.
Members of The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) which will include workers from 14 train operators will strike between 16-18, 30th March and 1st April which will be the start of Easter School holidays for many. Network Rail who are responsible for maintenance on tracks and bridges have their members on strike on the 16th of March.
The strikes taking place don’t just affect the industries that are striking but is has a knock-on effect to many businesses. It’s probably quite fair to assume that the majority of businesses post mail and with Royal Mail striking each one has experienced a delay as part of this. ‘Additional knock-on impacts of strikes such as the rail walkouts have cost bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels at least £2.5bn in lost trade since the summer, according to UKHospitality’ (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/strikes) This is a huge loss for the hospitality industry which is constantly battling.
Hopefully some resolution will be found soon between the unions and government so the UK will be in a better place and the lost revenue from this can be put back into the economy. Many small businesses face enormous challenges everyday of keeping the doors open and balancing the scales so a more stable economy will help us all.
The doors at Full Circle Employment Agency are open if you are needing help in your business or looking for work.