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UK strikes 2022

UK strikes 2022: Major sectors plan to end year with industrial actions

The UK’s economy faces huge disruptions due to numerous strikes planned across different industries during the busy Christmas season.

There will be a massive wave of strikes in the coming weeks, with hundreds of workers across the UK economy planning to walk out of their jobs.

As recession grips the UK and the cost of living rises, thousands of people across a wide range of industries are expected to take industrial action. Rail workers, university staff, teachers, Royal Mail workers, and civil servants are just a few workers that have already planned for the walkout.

Rail Workers

Workers at 14 of the 28 train companies in the UK are represented by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) union. The most well-known union leader, Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT, stated that his members are striking because the government is cutting jobs and not raising wages to keep up with inflation.

RMT announced that the rail workers will start their strike on December 13th. The strike will continue for four days, starting on the 13th and ending on the 17th. They have as well planned further strikes from 6 PM on December 24 until December 27, and also on January 3, 4, 6, and 7 next year.

There will also be widespread disruptions to railway services from the 18th of December to the 2nd of January due to an overtime ban by RMT members.

Royal Mail Workers

Royal Mail workers have decided to participate in fresh strike action after their previous strike between November 24th and 25th bore no fruits.

The fresh walkout will take place on December 9, 11, 14, 15, 23, and 24.

Nurses and Medics

In December, members of the Royal College of Nursing will engage in their first-ever strike after the government failed to commit to official pay negotiations after a five-day deadline expired in November.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the strike will take place on December 15th and 20th.

Thousands of NHS nurses will go on strike because they want a pay raise of 5% more than the rate of inflation. They say that their real pay has dropped by 20% since 2010.

Ambulance Workers

On December 21, 2022, paramedics, emergency care assistants, call handlers, and other ambulance staff will go on strike. 10,000 ambulance workers plan to strike across the nine trusts in England and Wales, as announced on December 6.

Road Workers

Road workers from National Highways will go on strike in England in December and January. Their union, PCS, warns that the action threatens shutting down the road system, and that the walkouts will coincide with scheduled rail strikes by RMT members.

Civil Servants

Around 100,000 civil servants across different government departments have also planned a walkout this December. Some of the departments affected include Home Office, JobCentres, passport and DVLA procedures, the Border Force, and more.

They will strike in different parts of England on December 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, and 31, and on January 3, 4, 6, and 7.

University Lecturers and Teachers

Between November 23 and 26, more than 70,000 university staff members held their third day of strike action over pay, working conditions and pensions.

They warned of further action in the new year if the conditions are not improved.

Shelter Employees

On Monday, December 5th, more than 600 employees of the homeless charity Shelter launched “unprecedented” two weeks of strike action over pay.

The Unite union said that a 3% pay increase this year has left some Shelter employees unable to afford their rent and fearful of becoming homeless themselves.


After rejecting a 5% salary increase, thousands of firefighters are planning a strike. The Union member stated that this salary increase would amount to a real-term loss.

On December 5, the Fire Brigades Union started to run a ballot on prospects of a strike. The ballot is planned to end on January 23.

Other strikes set to take place:

  • Baggage handlers from Menzies at Heathrow Airport are due to strike before Christmas. It may affect passengers using Air Canada, American Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss Air, Air Portugal, Austrian Airlines, Qantas, Egypt Air, Aer Lingus and Finnair.
  • Food delivery workers from GMB who work for Bestfood and deliver food to chain restaurants such as KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Zizzi, Pizza Express and Wagamama have voted to strike.
  • Brewery workers at Greene King started a five-day strike on 5 December.
  • Abello, Metroline and GMB bus strikes are set throughout December.
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