Brit slams strike action with current economy in ‘mess’

When are the train strikes and what impact will they have?

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A BBC Question Time audience member has expressed disagreement over the upcoming strikes in the UK while the country’s economic situation is in a “mess”. The audience member asked the panelists how the officials plan to deal with the crisis.

He said: “We would love to give the public sector more money, but the fact of the matter is the private sector isn’t seeing any more money.

“And the fact that there is no money to give… if we open the floodgates for negotiations with all these different unions, then I would like to know where the money is coming from

and just beyond that it’s likely that the Labour might win the next election.

“I would like to know how they think they are going to fund all these extra pay increases when the reality is that the economy is in such a mess.”

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has organised strikes throughout December and into January, as 40,000 workers down tools at one of the busiest periods of the year in a bid to force improved terms.

Downing Street has urged the union to seriously consider what it calls a “generous and fair” pay offer.

The prime minister’s spokesman says the RMT is taking “further damaging action” and insists that the government has “facilitated the sort of offer it has been calling for”.

He states that the package being offered contains no compulsory redundancies until 2025, as well as a five percent pay rise this year and four percent from January.

The RMT has pledged to put this offer to its members in an electronic referendum, but is calling for it to be rejected describing it as “not acceptable”.

The Communication Workers’ Union, representing postal workers, is also at odds with Royal Mail over its members’ wages.

Both Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members and ambulance staff represented by the GMB, Unite and Unison unions are likewise going on strike over pay and conditions within the NHS.

The Independent reported that G4S staff, London bus drivers, Eurostar security personnel, Border Force agents, Heathrow baggage handlers, Scottish teachers, driving examiners in northern England and Scotland and National Highway Workers around the country will also be going on strike this month causing massive disruption to the day-to-day operations of British public.

Meanwhile, the Government is pushing ahead with plans to curb rail strikes by requiring minimum service levels on the railways, the prime minister’s spokesman says.

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The bill  promises that transport networks will not be allowed to completely shut down as a result of industrial action. It was introduced to the Commons in October, and has been condemned by unions.

Rishi Sunak’s spokesman confirms the plan is being taken forward “whether or not the unions step back from the planned disruption next week”, though he acknowledges it will not be ready in time to prevent that disruption.

He blames the pandemic for the delay to the legislation, which was first promised in 2019.

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