Land of standstill: wave of strikes paralyzes Great Britain
Created: 2022-12-20 07:41
NHS health workers and nurses are demanding a significant wage increase.
© Peter Powell/PA Wire/dpa
Not in Great Britain: No Christmas mail, no visits to relatives, no emergency room - and travelers face long queues at passport control.
A country is on strike.
London - The most important look before Christmas in Great Britain is not the advent calendar - the strike calendar sets the pace around the holidays.
There is hardly a day in December when work is not suspended in some industry in protest at low wages and poor conditions.
Public life is at a standstill, the strikes are slowing down the country.
You can open the strike calendar at will, and you're bound to find something: this Tuesday it's the clinic staff again, on Wednesday the ambulance drivers are on strike.
Tourists are also affected.
From Friday onwards, the border officials will go on strike - until New Year's Eve there will probably be long queues for entry, and flights will probably be canceled in some cases.
From Christmas Eve onwards, there will be hardly any trains for days, and there could also be problems with the Eurostar between London and the EU.
Visiting relatives for a feast without a car should be almost impossible.
There has been a strike at the post office for months
Example of Christmas mail: There have been strikes at Royal Mail for months.
Entire streets currently receive mail at most once a week.
There are mountains of letters and packages in the depots.
Word circulated recently that Royal Mail managers should recruit relatives and friends to help with sorting and at least ease the backlog ahead of Christmas.
But anyone who was looking for the postman at the last icy temperatures had to be all the more careful not to slip on black ice - the emergency rooms, which were already completely overloaded, were even thinner than usual. Because the nurses of the NHS health service are also on strike, for the first time in their history.
They also want to create awareness of the catastrophic situation that is affecting many people.
More than seven million people are waiting for routine procedures, emergency doctors need much longer than planned, and ambulances are backed up in front of the emergency rooms.
No prospect of improvement
Chances of improvement: none.
The fronts are hardened.
They hardly talk to each other, which is also due to the deep ideological rifts.
“The unions are stealing Christmas from us,” complains the conservative press.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stressed: "I am really disappointed that the unions are calling for these strikes, especially at Christmas, especially when it has such consequences for people's everyday life." The government regularly emphasizes that there is simply no money left after the Corona aid.
The government is driven by Tory hardliners who want minimal government intervention and preach the virtues of capitalism.
The trade unions, on the other hand, are clearly on the side of the opposition Labor Party, which for the first time in many years senses the chance of a change of power.
"Family incomes have been shredded by rising bills and more than a decade of low wages," said Frances O'Grady, chief of the TUC, of her support for the strikes.
Responsible for this is the failed Tory policy.
The wave of strikes could last well into next year.
Inflation at record high
The fact that the conflict is not easy to solve is due to the background: Great Britain is in a severe economic crisis.
At around 11 percent, inflation is the highest it has been in 40 years, the high prices for food and energy are throwing millions of people into poverty, and the food banks can no longer keep up with the record-breaking demand.
According to a TUC study, real wages will fall by 3 percent in 2022 - more than at any time since 1977.
TUC boss O'Grady speaks of a "shame".
The outlook gives little cause for hope: economists are expecting a long downturn, at least until the end of 2023.
Debate about wage increases for 1.7 million civil servants: do we really need that many civil servants?
10,171 euros back payment for civil servants: "I'm a bit ashamed"
Putin sees "new threats" and announces "modern weapons" in annexed areas
After Ukraine warning: Putin vassal Medvedev demands from London the return of the Falkland Islands
Important Putin announcement on Ukraine war expected - is he putting everything on one card?
Fancy a voyage of discovery?
Great Britain is not alone with these problems, economists also expect a recession in Germany.
The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has had serious consequences worldwide.
But Great Britain seems to be hit even harder.
This is also due to Brexit, as experts emphasize.
The exchange of goods with the most important trading partner, the EU, has collapsed.
The shortage of skilled workers has worsened without workers from the EU.
The reality contradicts all scenarios that the Brexit advocates once envisaged.
Food and energy should become cheaper, well-paid jobs should be easier to get for the British.
Millions should flow into the health service instead of Brussels, the "Brexit freedoms" will make the kingdom a trading nation again.
Nothing has happened so far, which is one of the reasons why more than half of the population now considers the exit from the EU to be a mistake.
The government around Prime Minister Sunak, a Brexiteer, wants nothing to do with it.
Her mantra: The problems were all caused by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.