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The longest strike action in more than a decade will reach its most devastating point tomorrow when some 500,000 workers will take part in a ‘Wednesday walkout’. In any event, even if you haven’t been affected by the strike so far, you probably will this week.
With 300,000 teachers on strike, millions of children could have to study at home. The government says it has a well-oiled contingency plan in place to minimize disruption, but it has no solution for strikes affecting hospitals, trains and other services.
What happened to the dialogue between ministers and unions to resolve the dispute? Talks between education unions and Education Secretary Gillian Keegan ended yesterday without agreement. Momentum seems to have stalled after seeing the first signs of a breakthrough in both. And the fire brigade union is now the latest to vote in favor of a strike over compensation.
Before Christmas, ministers happily sat still and waited for the public to turn their backs on the unions. But weeks later, public support is holding up. His YouGov poll for Sky News showed his support for the union rose to 37 percent from 35 percent in November.
Opinion polls highlight what the government is probably overlooking. At the heart of these strikes are the hardships facing millions of workers. Although there are signs that inflation is starting to come down, the prime minister’s pledge to halve inflation is far from coming to fruition.
As a result, it looks like the strike will continue until ministers put forward improved proposals.