Nearly half a million teachers of schools and universities, health workers, workers of many public services, railway workers, etc. unitedly came out on the streets, in a massive well-coordinated strike action throughout Britain on February 1, 2023.
The workers are demanding higher wages, to meet the soaring inflation. The government has refused to negotiate with the workers’ unions, claiming that further wage increases are “unaffordable”.
In particular, workers are opposing the new anti-strike law recently introduced by the government, the Minimum Service Level Bill. This law has made the right to strike unlawful for nurses, paramedics, firefighters, rail workers and teachers and educators, whom the government declares “frontline” workers. The workers are determined to stand up for their rights and not be treated as slaves by the authorities.
Strike actions have been planned throughout the month of February.
Nearly 100,000 public service workers from government ministries, driving test centres, museums, ports and airports staged a 24-hour demonstration on February 1. They were joined by around 70,000 teaching and non-teaching staff from 150 universities. Drivers of railway trains struck work on February 1 and 3, bringing services to a standstill across more than a dozen railway lines.
Other workers who have announced strikes and protests in February include nurses, paramedics, emergency care assistants, call handlers, ambulance workers, physiotherapists and other health workers. Workers in Wales and Northern Ireland have also announced protest actions.