Britain is facing a new “winter of discontent” with various public-facing unions taking industrial action following the collapse of negotiations for improved pay and conditions amid rising inflation.
Throughout December and January, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has planned several strike days with 40,000 workers expected to walk out as part of a long-running dispute. Transport will also be disrupted in London as more than 1,000 bus drivers for Abellio are preparing to strike for three days.
Nurses will also stage the first national strike in the history of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) this week with some 100,000 members set to walk out across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Elsewhere in the NHS, Ambulance crews in England will strike, with the military and police officers drafted in to form a contingency service in their absence.
Royal Mail workers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are also taking action over a series of days this month, to coincide with the busiest time of year, and forcing Christmas delivery dates forward.
In addition, driving examiners part of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) will take part in the month-long rolling strike program by the DVSA. Alongside Heathrow baggage handlers and National Highway Workers, around 1,000 Border Force staff are expected to walk out. Earlier this month university staff at 150 institutions and Scottish teachers took strike action.
READ MORE: Union leaders accused of ‘holding country to ransom’
In response, Express.co.uk ran a poll that ran from 1.30pm on Friday, December 9, to 11.30am on Wednesday, December 14, asking readers: “Do you support any of the strikes shutting down Britain?”
Overall, 6,177 people took part in the poll with 16,403 votes cast. The most common answer with 69 percent of responses (4,252 people) was “none”.
Thirty-one percent (1,900 people) voted in favor of the industrial action, and a further 25 people said they don’t know.
From the 12,151 votes cast in support of the strikes, the sectors with the most support were nurses and ambulances with 14 and 13 percent respectively.
This was followed by postal workers with 10 percent, rail workers with nine percent and bus drivers with nine percent.
Border force workers, Heathrow airport baggage handlers and National highways workers each received support from eight percent.
Meanwhile, driving examiners, Scottish teachers and university lecturers had the backing of seven percent.
In the hundreds of comments left below the accompanying article readers shared their thoughts on the industrial action being taken.
However, other readers commented in support of the strikes, with username watchingthedefectives writing: “Solidarity with the unions.”
Similarly, username Nat11 said: “Everyone should support the strikes. No matter what. It’s workers exercising a right that our ancestors died to get us.”
Username Greylox said: “I support the workers, a fair wage has to at the very least be in line with inflation otherwise something is fundamentally broken.”
And username Angry Engineer said: “I support worker rights and freedoms and the right not to have their wages and conditions eroded, over time. I want to see a better deal for UK workers, and a fairer share of the wealth we generate for the economy.”