Batten the hatches: Wave of strikes could be worse than winter misery of discontent, top Tory warns
- Steve Brine, chairman of the Commons health committee, said these strikes are potentially ‘more concerning’
- New anti-strike laws have made it more difficult to legally call strikes
- NHS Christmas walkout on December 20 could cripple the country
- James Callaghan’s Labor administration was destroyed by similar action during the ‘winter of discontent’ of 1978-79
Strikes in the coming weeks could cause more chaos than the infamous ‘winter of discontent’ of the 1970s, a senior Tory MP warned yesterday.
And a coordinated NHS Christmas strike on December 20 could cripple the health service, it was reported last night.
Steve Brine, chairman of the Commons Health Committee, said action planned this winter was potentially “more concerning” as new anti-strike laws have made it more difficult to call strikes legally.
It suggests the union barons were more determined than ever to shut down Britain, he said.
Steve Brine, chairman of the Commons Health Committee (pictured), said action planned this winter was potentially ‘more concerning’ as new anti-strike laws have made it more difficult to call strikes legally
Three unions – GMB, Unite and Unison – are discussing a coordinated strike date, according to The Guardian, with talks between union bosses and ministers said to have taken place over how to ‘avoid loss of life’. The Royal College of Nursing has already confirmed that members will strike on December 20 and December 15
Mr Brine told Sky News: “We keep hearing that this is a repeat of the winter of discontent of the 1970s. In some ways it’s not, but in some ways , this is perhaps more concerning because, of course, different labor dispute legislation since the 1970s has made it more difficult to obtain a strike mechanism.
“The fact that you have so many coordinated strikes now suggests that there is deep dissatisfaction with pay levels and certain conditions within parts of the health service.” Meanwhile, the simultaneous exits of nurses, paramedics and hospital staff could see hospitals struggling to maintain even basic services.
Three unions – GMB, Unite and Unison – are discussing a coordinated strike date, according to The Guardian, with talks between union bosses and ministers said to have taken place over how to ‘avoid loss of life’. The Royal College of Nursing has already confirmed that members will strike on December 20 and December 15.
It came as GMB’s Andy Prendergast warned Sky News: “We’ll be talking to other unions…we’ll be looking to make sure this has the maximum impact.” We will ensure that emergencies are covered, but at the end of the day the government must listen.
It has prompted renewed calls for new anti-strike laws to crush the power of unions, including the introduction of minimum service legislation – where workers are obliged to ensure that a certain level of services is maintained. on strike days.
Tory MP and former chief secretary to the Treasury, Simon Clarke, said: ‘If the unions refuse to come to their senses, the government should absolutely push forward minimum service legislation.’
The country is preparing for strikes every day until Christmas in one sector or another. Railway workers including Eurostar staff, nurses, ambulance staff, teachers, cash handling security guards, cleaners, porters, driving examiners, rural payment officers and civil servants foresee actions that will affect the Advent every day.
James Callaghan’s Labor administration was effectively destroyed by a similar wave of industrial action during the “Winter of Discontent” of 1978-79.