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Winter of discontent: full list of all workers walking out and dates of strikes

Rebecca Goodman
Written By:
Rebecca Goodman

Security staff at Eurostar are the latest group to confirm strike action on four days just before Christmas.

They will join a long list of organisations whose workers have agreed to strike this winter in what some are calling a new “winter of discontent”.

The prime minister, Rishi Sunak, has now created a dedicated unit of the government to deal with strike action.

Members of the RMT union have agreed to the walkout of some Eurostaff staff on the 16, 18, 22 and 23 of December, causing chaos for those with travel planned just before Christmas.

Around 100 workers are expected to strike because of a dispute over pay.

The union says that workers, some who earn £10.66 per hour, rejected a below-inflation pay offer and 81% voted “yes” to strike action.

The main role of these workers is to keep passengers safe during international rail travel and their work is contracted out to the facilities management company Mitie, which made £50m in profit between March and September this year.

“This is the only way management will listen”

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Eurostar security staff are essential to the running of Eurostar, and it is disgraceful they are not being paid a decent wage.

“They work long unsocial hours and a multimillion-pound company like Mitie can easily afford to pay them decently for the essential work they do.

“We do not want to disrupt people’s travel plans, but our members need a pay rise, and this is the only way management will listen.

“I urge Mitie and Eurostar to come to a negotiated settlement with RMT as soon as possible.”

Why are workers striking?

There are many reasons for workers going on strike but for most the reason comes down to pay.

With inflation soaring, and currently at 11.1%, average wages have not kept up.

Now, many workers are facing soaring bills without any extra money in their pay packet and this is one of the reasons so many have voted for strike action.

Other factors including, pension packages, staffing issues, and working hours are all included when deciding on voting for action

Which workers are striking and what days will action happen on?

This year there have been several strikes carried out and many are planned. The list of workers who have carried out industrial action, and those that have planned strikes, are listed here.

  • Nurses: UK nurses and members of the RCN union voted to strike action and walkouts for English nurses have been confirmed for Thursday 15 and Thursday 20 December. Essential and emergency services will still take place but routine treatment and operations are expected to be impacted.
  • Civil servants: Around 100,000 civil servants and members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union voted for strike action. Members of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and the Rural Payments Agency are the first to confirm dates for a series of rolling strikes from December 13 to January 16.
  • Criminal barristers: Criminal barristers and QCs have been on strike several times this year but stopped in October to stop after agreeing a government pay deal.
  • Ambulance workers: More than 10,000 workers and members of two unions representing ambulance staff have voted for strike action in England and Wales over pay in the NHS. Dates have not yet been announced but walk outs are expected before Christmas.
  • Train drivers: Strikes by train staff have taken place repeatedly this year, in rows over pay and working conditions. The next strikes are planned for: Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14, Friday 16 and Saturday 17 December. In January strike action is planned for Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4, Friday 6 and Saturday 7 January.
  • Royal Mail: Postal workers, and members of the Communication Workers Union have walked out several times already this year. The next planned strike dates are: Thursday 1, Friday 9 and Sunday 11 December.
  • BT: In the summer, thousands of workers for BT walked out in a protest over pay. Now, BT has agreed a pay deal with unions and this is being put to union members.
  • Teachers: In Scotland, most secondary schools were closed last Tuesday as staff walked out. An agreement is yet to be made between union members and more strikes are expected.
  • Firefighters: Members of  the Fire Brigades Union are being asked if they want to strike after a pay rise of 5% was rejected by the union.
  • University staff: The University and College Union (UCU) said around 70,000 university workers including researchers, academics and administrators walked out in November.  Other works, including cleaners and caterers and members of the Unison and Unite unions are also striking for better pay and working conditions at some universities.