Industrial Action Sweeping UK – A Decade Too Late? (10.11.2022)

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) – traditionally Left-Wing – Has Balloted Its Members for Strike Action! The Royal College of Nurses (RCN) – traditionally Centre-Right – Has Also Balloted Its Members!

Author’s Note: The Tories and Lib-Dems took away the final hurdles to the full privatisation of the British NHS in 2012 – eliciting nothing more than a weak ‘whimper’ from the so-called ‘Unions’ in the UK – entitles that are now Trotskyite-shells of their former selves! Even the Royal College of Midwives – which is traditionally Left-Wing – experienced a leadership lurch to the political ‘Right’ and failed to support a Left-Wing Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn! The irony is that there is NOTHING left to save in the NHS! It has been privatised from top to bottom (and back up to the top again) – with thousands dying annually from medical neglect, lack of correct diagnosis and treatment – and yes – even ‘starvation’ on the Wards! The GPs belong to the Right-Wing ‘British Medical Associaion’ (BMA) and despite being paid hundreds of thousands a year (these people who are supposed to ‘Do No Harm’) have colluded with every Right-Wing government and their cuts – failing to support the well-being of the ordinary people who pay their wages through general taxation! Of course, who can forget how thousands of NHS Staff gave their lives for the British Nation during the Covid-19 Crisis simply because the Tory government refused to provide basic PPE free of charge (on the basis such a charitable act would be construed as being ‘bad for business’)! And then there was the obsence sight of the odious Priti Patel, Rishi Sunak, Ian Duncon-Smith, David Cameron, Teresa May, Liz Truss (and a host of other despicable Right-Wingers) all cheering gleefully and stamping their feet in approval – as the British Parliament ‘Voted Down’ a meagre 1% payrise requested by those beleaguered NHS Staff who had managed to survive their Frontline Duty! I suspect if they had been soldiers returning victorious after committing a blatant act of imperialist aggression on some far-off flung rock (such as the Argentinian ‘Malvinas’) – riches galore would have been poured upon them! As the government withdraws funding and resources from the NHS – patients die from medical neglect and Staff die from bad pay and poor working conditions (which includes a higher than average suicide rate)! It is a false crisis deliberately generated by an endless stream of Right-Wing British governments set upon turning the UK into a piss-pour replica of a poverty-striken US State! ACW (10.11.2022)

LONDON, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) — A series of large-scale strikes are set to disrupt daily life in the United Kingdom (UK) over the next few months, due to long-running disputes over pay. The walkouts are expected to take a huge economic toll.

Strikes on the London Underground will go ahead on Thursday, after the government body Transport for London (TfL) and trade union representatives failed to reach an agreement. The unions had asked TfL to pause job cuts and changes to pensions.

“Our members are resolute in their determination to see a just settlement to this jobs and pensions dispute,” said Mick Lynch, general secretary at The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers. “They will continue their industrial campaign for as long as it takes.”

TfL has warned that there will be “limited or no services running” on Thursday, and passengers should avoid traveling on the Tube.

London Underground handles up to five million passengers a day, according to TfL. At peak times, there are over 540 trains running around the capital.

Meanwhile, starting on Nov. 18 around 700 workers at London’s Heathrow airport will participate in three days of strike action over pay. These workers are responsible for a wide variety of roles, including ground handling, airside transport and cargo, said Unite, one of the largest trade unions in the UK.

The strike will particularly affect Qatar Airways, which has scheduled an additional 10 flights a week during the World Cup, which starts on Nov. 20. Passengers returning to the United States for the Thanksgiving holiday are also set to be adversely affected, Unite said.

Next, more than 70,000 university staff at 150 UK universities will strike for three days at the end of November over pay, working conditions and pensions. The strike will be “the biggest ever to hit UK universities and could impact 2.5 million students,” the University and College Union (UCU) said on Tuesday.

UCU’s demands include a meaningful pay rise to deal with the cost-of-living crisis, after employers granted a pay rise worth just 3 percent this year. This followed over a decade of below-inflation pay rises, the union underlined.

More than 300,000 members have been urged to vote for strike action in the Royal College of Nursing’s (RCN) biggest strike ballot in its 106-year history. The ballot was closed in early November, with results set to be announced at a later date.

“None of us wants to take industrial action but we’ve been forced into this position after a decade of real-terms pay cuts. We can’t stand by and watch our colleagues and patients suffer anymore,” said RCN General Secretary Pat Cullen.

Driven by rising food prices, Britain’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 10.1 percent in September. In the last few months, households have felt the squeeze due to persistently high inflation, which has heated up disputes over pay.

Average public sector earnings in July 2022 were 4 percent lower in real terms than in July 2007, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Private sector earnings fared slightly better, but were still only 0.9 percent higher on average in July 2022 than in July 2007.

The UK has also seen a summer of walkouts by staff in sectors including public transport, container port operation and postal delivery. The walkouts have taken a huge economic toll.

As well as the huge impact on day-to-day life, economists have assessed that the first wave of rail strikes alone, in June 2022, cost the UK economy nearly 100 million pounds (114 million U.S. dollars). This put extra pressure on business, and stopped people across the country from accessing their workplaces during a cost-of-living crisis.

Editor: huaxia