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Strikes under Sunak – First 100 Days

Rishi Sunak Strikes

Rishi Sunak has now been Prime Minister for 101 days, comfortably beating the performance of his predecessor, Liz Truss, who only managed 49 days in office.

However, it has been far from plain sailing for the former Chancellor with strike action across a wide range of sectors dominating his tenure. Let’s take a look at all of the strike action that has taken place during his first three and a half months in charge.

November 10th

Members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) who work on the London Underground take strike action for one day. Reason for strikes – Disputes over jobs, pensions and working conditions. The issue is still ongoing, but no further strikes have taken place on the underground since.

November 24th

Over 70,000 members of staff at 150 universities in the United Kindom begin strike action over inadequate pay, working conditions and pensions. The strike continued on the 25th of November and the 30th of November. The situation remains unresolved and strikes are continuing.

November 24th

The first of many Royal Mail strikes to take place since Sunak became Prime Minister took place on November 24th. Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action and further strikes took place on the 25th and 30th of November in addition to seven days in December.

The situation is ongoing although no strike dates for 2023 have been announced yet. The dispute is over their pay after inflation in the UK hit 11% last year.

November 26th

Members of ASLEF, a trade union for train drivers, strike across the country for 24 hours causing major disruptions to rail services. Although ASLEF members haven’t been as prominent as RMT, they are also striking over pay and working conditions. They rejected an offer from the government in mid-January and further strike action is planned.

December 7th

5,500 education staff in Scotland took strike action in a dispute over pay. Similar action also took place the following day. A month later, teachers across the United Kingdom voted in favour of widespread strike action. The situation remains ongoing and further strike dates are planned for February 2023. No Government offer has been forthcoming as of right now.

December 9th

Further Royal Mail strikes.

December 11th

Further Royal Mail strikes.

December 12th

The first strike by ambulance workers took place on December 12th as members of UNISON voted to strike in Northern Ireland over pay disputes. Other parts of the NHS in the country also took action in solidarity. No resolution is yet to be found and more ambulance strikes are set for February 2023.

December 13th

Further rail strikes

December 14th

Further rail and Royal Mail strikes

December 15th

Further Royal Mail strikes take place, as well as 100,000 nurses walking out from hospitals across the country. Significant delays hampered the NHS and similar action took place five days later on the 20th. It was the first time in history that nurses had taken strike action, with disputes over pay rumbling on. Further strikes are expected should a swift resolution not be found.

December 16th

Further rail strikes

December 17th

Further rail strikes

December 19th

Members of staff at eleven airports in Scotland take strike action in a dispute over pay and working conditions. No further strikes are planned at this stage.

December 20th

Further nurse strikes.

December 21st

Further ambulance strikes.

December 22nd

PCS national highways staff begin striking in London, bringing about travel disruption on the roads in the build-up to Christmas. RMT staff continue their rail strikes and security staff on the Eurostar also walk out.

December 23rd

Border force staff at airports across the country take strike action, causing chaos at airports just two days before Christmas. They continued to strike between Christmas and new year and further dates are planned for February half term.

December 24th

Further rail, Royal Mail and border force strikes.

December 25th

Further rail and border force strikes.

December 26th

Further rail and border force strikes.

December 27th

Further rail strikes.

December 28th

Further border force strikes while driving examiners part of DVSA also begin to take action in the west midlands. This was followed up by strikes from more examiners in other parts of the country across January.

December 30th

Further border force and DVSA strikes.

December 31st

Further border force, rail and DVSA strikes.

January 3rd

Further rail and DVSA strikes.

January 5th

Further rail and DVSA strikes.

January 6th

Further rail strikes.

January 7th

Further rail, national highways and DVSA strikes.

January 8-9th

Further DVA strikes

January 11th

Further ambulance strikes

January 12th

Workers on the Elizabeth Line on the London Underground take strike action over pay, pensions and working conditions. No further action has been announced but the situation remains unresolved.

January 18th

Further nurse strikes. Additionally, thousands of workers from the government’s Environmental Agency take strike action. It is the first time in the organisation’s history that workers have staged a strike.

January 19th

Further nurse and ambulance strikes.

January 23rd

Further ambulance strikes.

January 26th

Further ambulance strikes, as well as NHS physiotherapy staff.

February 1st

Thousands of teachers across the country take strike action with many schools having to close down for the day in a dispute over pay in relation to the cost of living crisis. Rail strikes also take place on this day, as well as action from 100,000 civil servants across 124 government departments.

Final thought

The question as to whether this long list of actions constitutes a General Strike has an is being vigorously debated. The Government’s plan, such as there is one, seems to be to batten down the hatches and hope that the political impact of these strikes will dissipate over time. It may take another 100 days to see if our new Prime Minister will weather these strikes or whether he will have to course correct.

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