The general secretary of the TUC has raised the possibility of stepping up industrial action this year, saying an organized strike “absolutely makes sense”.
Paul Nowak, recently appointed supreme leader of the UK trade unions, also said he would hold Rishi Sunak accountable and “frankly” pay wages, rather than continue to use the government’s pay review body as a “human shield”. urged to facilitate negotiations.
“I think he [the prime minister] I forgot the value of sitting down and reaching agreements and taking ideas from people outside my own cabinet.
This occurred on the second day of the first 48-hour strike of Network Rail’s rail, shipping and transport union members and 14 other rail operators this year. On Thursday, the train driver, who is a member of the Aslef union, will go on strike for his 24 hours, the middle day between his two phases of RMT action.
Much of the UK’s rail network is out of service, and around a fifth of trains are expected to be in service, leaving many commuters with minimal service.
“For striking workers, this is a very difficult decision. They lose their wages and are unable to provide the services they are proud to provide,” Nowak said.
“So my responsibility is that of the union, and when union members make that difficult decision, I need to make sure that their actions are as impactful and as effective as possible.”
When asked if coordinated strike action with other unions and sectors would be a way to maximize impact, Nowak added: Unions coordinate our actions to discuss how we support each other. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all public sector workers will go on strike on the same day, he suggested.
In a letter to Sunak on Wednesday, Nowak explained that public services are in crisis after years of “underfunding and understaffing” and has experience in areas such as schools and hospitals. But he urged depressed public sector workers to consider leaving.
Urging Sunak to lead the wage negotiations, the union president said: When these agencies met and made their recommendations, inflation was not 10-11%. ”
Downing Street has previously said there is no need for the prime minister to be personally involved in the matter, nor for the government to be involved in wage negotiations.
Nowak believes the public is well aware of who is responsible for the ongoing strikes. In an interview with The Guardian before commencing his new role, he said: The public clearly identifies where responsibility lies.
“Maybe they’ll try to bold it up until spring and on budget, but I don’t think our members are quietly waiting for it to come. I don’t think it will tear apart the
However, some fear that the strike will undermine public trust and confidence in railroads. Anthony Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Transport Focus, said:[The strikes] It undermines the income that underpins ongoing investments that are key to the development of transport services. I wouldn’t go back to traveling by train if anyone thought I was looking to buy a car instead. ”