Bleak Christmas Season In Britain Rishi Sunak Grapples With Falling Popularity Details Inside

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This Christmas season might not be the usual gala affair in Great Britain, so suggest the reports.

Royal Mail workers gather in Parliament Square, as they hold a protest over pay and jobs, in London, Friday, Dec. 9, 2022. The Communications Workers Union (CWU) has planned six days of strike over pay. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Great Britain: This Christmas season might not be the usual gala affair in Great Britain, so suggest the reports. The country is going to witness the biggest strike in the last 30 years, say the reports. In this strike, more than two lakh employees of many departments including bus, railway, airport, ambulance, nursing, and postal staff will be involved. The special thing is that this strike is taking place during the Christmas holidays and because of this, tourists coming to Britain are facing difficulties. There is a big boom in tourism here during Christmas, but this time there is no special enthusiasm to be seen.


Instead of the jubilant scenes on the roads, there is a crowd that is facing the brunt of inflation. The employees of every department have different demands, but the common demand of all is to increase the salary. The employees say that with the rate at which inflation is increasing, our salaries are not increasing at that pace. The inflation rate in the UK is 11.1%, while the salary of nursing staff has increased by only 4.75%. The salary of ambulance staff increased by 4%. Postal employees were offered a 9% pay hike, but they turned it down saying that the pay hike was still less than the inflation rate.


The strike began on 7 December with teachers stopping work. Their demand is that along with increasing the salary, the pension should also be increased. Airport staff will be on strike at Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Cardiff from 23 to 26 December and 28 and 31 December. To avoid the effect of this 8-day strike, the government has decided to deploy the army at airports and seaports so that soldiers can work instead of employees.

Around 40,000 UK railway workers will be on strike from 13 to 17 December. Due to this, 50% of Britain’s rail service is expected to be affected. Around 1 lakh nurses are preparing to go on strike on December 15 and 20, although emergency services will continue in hospitals. A survey by an organization named Ipsos revealed that 59% of the British public supports the nurses’ strike. 10,000 ambulance workers will also sit on strike on 21 and 28 December. Such a large-scale strike in the UK was witnessed more than three decades ago in 1989. This was also done by the ambulance staff only for the salary hike.


Indian-origin British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces a big challenge. Tax rates are increasing in the UK but PM Sunak is justifying the move asserting that it is a correct decision. However, people are questioning how they will pay rising taxes without a substantial raise in their salaries. Amidst all this, Rishi Sunak’s popularity is diminishing fast.

(With agency inputs)

Published Date: December 11, 2022 3:48 PM IST


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