Half a million British workers strike over pay, amid cost of living crisis
About half a million British workers are striking on Wednesday as unions stage a mass walkout timed to disrupt Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt’s annual budget.
With hundreds of thousands of walking out, it was expected to be the biggest single day of industrial action since a wave of unrest began last year.
From nurses to lawyers, workers hit by a cost-of-living crisis have been striking across the economy, pitting unions against the government which insists big pay hikes are unaffordable and will only fuel inflation.
Alongside salaries, which workers say have not kept up with inflation, other issues include conditions, job security and pensions.
Other groups walking out Wednesday included UK university staff and BBC journalists in England.
The strike by train staff in the Aslef and Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) unions in London left the entire Underground train network at a standstill.
Government departments and the Border Force were also hit by a walk-out of an estimated 130,000 members of the PCS civil servants' union.
PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said it was a scandal that some of those administering government services were now so poorly paid they were forced to rely on handouts themselves.002