Unions Accuse Government of Stonewalling over Christmas Strike Action

Union bosses have accused ministers of stonewalling requests for meaningful pay talks, as more sectors threaten to strike during the Christmas period.

Border Force workers announced strikes will take place between 23 and 26 December and 28 and 31 December, jeopardising Christmas travel.

In a lertter to the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, the TUC said the government could not continue to “hide behind” pay review bodies and that frontline workers were facing another massive real-terms hit to their wages. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady and Unison General Secretary Christina McAnea, accused the government of refusing to engage in good faith discussions over pay increases. They argued that no public sector employees want to go on strike this winter.

The letter added public sector workers “are committed public servants who take great pride in their jobs and the communities they serve. But the government has left them with no choice. “..Good industrial relations require both parties to be willing to negotiate in good faith and to have open conversations.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he had been “reasonable” in responding to public sector pay demands, but warned that if union leaders continued to be unreasonable, he would take action to protect the lives and livelihoods of the British public.

Unite members are protesting at Petrofac’s working rotation at BP installations. They are resolute in their determination to continue with ongoing action until their claims are met.