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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Teachers and professors join postal workers in UK strike | business news

LONDON (AP) — Most schools in Scotland closed Thursday as thousands of teachers walked off the job, joining dozens of postal workers and university professors in an industrial action to demand better wages and working conditions to tackle the coronavirus crisis. cost of living in the country. .

The teachers’ strike in Scotland, which closed all schools on the Scottish mainland, was the first of its kind in the region in 40 years. Union members want a 10% pay rise, but Scottish authorities say they can’t afford it.

Elsewhere in the UK, pickets were set up outside post offices and universities in one of the biggest coordinated strikes this year. At universities, some 70,000 academic staff went on strike on Thursday and again on November 30 in the largest action of its kind in higher education. The action will affect some 2.5 million students.

The University and College Union said professors and other academic staff have suffered from a decade of below-inflation pay increases, with a 3% raise announced in the summer.

Meanwhile, Royal Mail workers will be up for 48 hours on Thursday and again on Black Friday and Christmas Eve over a long-running pay dispute.

Britons have faced days of travel misery and overflowing bins in recent months as unions representing multiple industries launched successive strikes. Lawyers, nurses, postal workers and many others have walked off the job to seek wage increases to match skyrocketing inflation. Home energy bills and food costs have skyrocketed this year, pushing inflation to a 41-year high of 11.1% in October.

The latest strikes come after the Rail, Maritime and Transport union announced on Tuesday that more than 40,000 rail workers will stage new strikes in December and January, disrupting travel for dozens of people over the busy festive season. The union said members will go on strike for four days starting December 13 and in the first week of January.

Pubs, bars and other hospitality businesses have expressed their dismay at the latest train strike announcement.

“The ongoing rail strikes have had a huge impact on our hospitality sector; preventing staff from getting to work and disrupting consumers’ plans, meaning a huge drop in sales for venues across the industry,” said Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UKHospitality.

“Further strikes during the busiest time of the year for hospitality will be devastating, just as everyone was anticipating an uninterrupted Christmas period for the first time in three years,” he added.

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

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