Strikes continue to batter the UK with Royal Mail workers walking out over pay

Royal Mail workers are the latest group to strike over pay, with over 115,000 members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) walking out.

The strikes, announced earlier last month, are expected to impact the sorting and distribution of letters and parcels for up to 10 days in November and December.

It’s the latest in a series of strikes announced by several key industries in the UK, including National Rail and train staff, NHS nurses, and University staff. Together, it means over 1 million people are involved in at least some aspect of industrial action this winter.

The Royal College of Nursing, the union that represents NHS nurses in the UK, announced it’s striking for the first time in its 106-year history.

Abi, a student living in Plymouth, had her travel plans disrupted by the RMT train strikes in October: “I needed to get home one weekend, and a day or two before I was supposed to travel, they refunded my [train] tickets because of the strike.

“I couldn’t see my parents, and I’m four hours away from them, I haven’t seen them in a few months.”

The Royal Mail strikes have had far-reaching consequences for many customers and businesses.

Kaylee works for the British mobile network operator and internet service provider EE: “we send out routers for customers through Royal Mail, [the strikes] have caused a massive influx of calls [to the helpline] because customers aren’t receiving their routers on time.

“[EE] is having to compensate customers who haven’t received their products on time, you don’t realise how many people can be affected by these sorts of strikes.”

The NHS Nurse strikes are expected to affect millions of patients this winter, with thousands of routine appointments and operations cancelled. Emergency care is understood to be unaffected.

The Royal College of Nursing’s General Secretary and Chief Executive Pat Cullen said: “Ministers have declined my offer of formal pay negotiations and instead chosen strike action.

“It has left us with no choice but to announce where our members will be going on strike in December.

“Nursing is standing up for the profession and their patients. We’ve had enough of being taken for granted and being unable to provide the care patients deserve.”