December 7, 2022 9.00 am This story is over 16 months old

The strike advent calendar: Industrial action every day before Christmas

Workers continue to fight for improved wages

By Local Democracy Reporter

Strikes will take place every day until Christmas this year, as workers and unions across multiple sectors seek pay rises in line with inflation during the cost of living crisis.

In Lincolnshire the squeeze of strike action will be felt throughout December, with the latest batch of rail strikes involving over 40,000 Network Rail workers and staff from a variety of train operators – including LNER and East Midlands Railway.

Royal Mail workers are also joining industrial action this December, organising staggered walkout days across the month – causing panic that presents will not be delivered in time during the lead up to Christmas.

The strike action advent calendar:

  • December 5-9 – Greene King brewers
  • December 5-10 – Bestfood delivery workers (likes of KFC, Wagamama, Pizza Express and Zizzi affected)
  • December 5-11 – Co-op Funeralcare coffinmakers
  • December 5-18 – Shelter charity workers
  • December 7 – Scottish teachers
  • December 9 – Royal Mail
  • December 9-10 – Abellio bus
  • December 11 – Royal Mail
  • December 12-16 – Bestfood delivery workers (likes of KFC, Wagamama, Pizza Express and Zizzi affected)
  • December 13-14 – Rail
  • December 13-16 – Rural Payments Agency staff
  • December 14-15 – Royal Mail
  • December 15 – NHS nurses
  • December 16 – Eurostar
  • December 16-18 – Baggage handlers by Menzies at Heathrow Airport
  • December 16-17 – Rail
  • December 16-17 – Abellio bus
  • December 18 – Eurostar
  • December 19-31 – Department for Working Pensions staff in Liverpool and Doncaster
  • December 20 – NHS nurses
  • December 21 – Ambulance workers
  • December 22-23 – Eurostar
  • December 23-24 – Royal Mail
  • December 24-27 – Rail
  • December 28 – Ambulance workers
  • December 28-31 – Driving instructors in East Midlands

| Photo by Steve Smailes Photography

As well as this, around 2,000 East Midlands Ambulance Service workers taking part in planned walkouts on December 21 and 28, after GMB Union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action.

Tina Richardson, Deputy Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development at EMAS said: “NHS pay levels are agreed at a national and not at a local level and are therefore negotiated nationally for NHS employees.

“We recognise that this is a very difficult time for all of our people and want to support them through this challenging period.

“We fully respect the right of NHS staff to take lawful and peaceful industrial action, however we do urge national employer representatives and our trade union colleagues to proactively engage and reach a negotiated settlement to the dispute as quickly as possible.

“During this period of the dispute, we will do all we can to minimise the impact on our patients’ safety and will continue to work very closely with our Trade Union colleagues, regional service providers and NHS Employers and carry on supporting the wellbeing of our staff.”

Staff and students from the University of Lincoln taking part in strike action over staff pay, pensions, and conditions. | Photo: Joseph Verney for The Lincolnite

All workers going on strike are asking for similar things, a pay rise in line with inflation being at the top of most agendas when trade unions enter discussions with sector bosses.

Many unions are claiming that industries and government are offering real terms pay cuts to workers when considering the rapid rise of inflation this year – as well as the growing cost of living in the UK.

As a result, workers have deemed enough to be enough, and rolling strikes mean that every single day pre-Christmas will see industrial action of some form in the United Kingdom.

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