From rail strikes to postal workers walking out, UK infrastructure is demanding higher pay and more empathy. In the coming weeks, the nation will witness even more strike action, which will impact people’s day-to-day life and routines.
Following airline, train and bus services strikes in July, the UK is preparing for even more infrastructure strikes in the near future.
Are trains striking again?
This summer has become known as the summer of strikes, with rail unions stuck in a long dispute with National Rail over pay and working conditions.
After the strikes that affected Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) in June and July, there will be more strike action in the month of August by the RMT and ASLEF unions. Strikes are planned for:
- Saturday 13 August 2022 (ASLEF)
- Thursday 18 August 2022 (RMT)
- Saturday 20 August 2022 (RMT)
The strike will also affect football fans, including Premier League games in London, Manchester, Brighton and Birmingham.
40,000 workers, including around 20,000 from Network Rail, are set to walk out.
As well as train strikes, London Tube services are planning striking days too. In fact, workers on London Underground are staging a 24-hour strike on Friday 19 August 2022.
When are the postal strikes?
A reported 115,000 Royal Mail workers with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have committed to strike action on Friday 26 August, Wednesday 31 August, Thursday 8 September and Friday 9 September.
Metro reports that 97.3% of the members of the CWU voted for action, and said that an offer of a 2% pay rise was a “massive real-terms pay cut”.
What are the next strikes?
Holiday plans could be disrupted too, as airlines such as British Airways (BA), easyJet and Ryanair are planning industrial action throughout the summer in the UK and across Europe.
In the UK, London Heathrow Airport’s BA workers voted, with the Unite and GMB unions, in favour of strike action, surpassing a consensus of 90%. Approximately 700 staff are planning to walk out sometime this summer over a dispute about a 10% pay cut that was implemented during the coronavirus pandemic.
The next bus strikes will see London’s drivers unite over a pay dispute on the same day Tube workers and Overground staff are due to stage walkouts later in August.
On Friday 19 and Saturday 20 August 2022, over 1,600 bus drivers will strike after their employer “failed to make a reasonable pau offer”, Unite said. The workers who will walk out are employed by London United, a subsidiary of RATP, a French company.
In particular, this strike action will affect the service of buses in:
- Hounslow Heath
- Park Royal
- Stamford Brook
- Shepherd’s Bush
Airline strikes in Europe
The threat of walkout is still very much real, and some dates have already been announced:
- Monday 8 August: Ryanair Holding Plc’s Spanish crew plans four-day strikes every week for the next five months
- Friday 12 August: easyJet Plc’s Spanish pilots to strike through Sunday 14 August
- Saturday 27 August: Spanish pilots in SEPLA union are set to strike until Monday 29 August
What is causing the summer of strikes?
The main reasons for the frequent industrial actions that constellated the summer of 2022 revolve around similar issues: pay cuts, low salaries, staff shortages and long hours.
iNews describes it as a ‘summer of discontent‘ – a reference to the 1978/9 winter of discontent – which has spread across industries. Inflation and the rising cost of living following the COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine are worsening unions’ existing claims of stagnant wages and poor conditions.