Hundreds of thousands of people – teachers, London Underground drivers, doctors, civil servants – are on strike across the UK on Wednesday demanding pay rises the same day the Conservative government unveils its annual budget.
It is one of the most important days of action for months in the country which is facing a wave of social movements. Britons are facing soaring food and energy prices as inflation remains above 10%.
In London, the subway is almost at a standstill on Wednesday, the drivers having stopped work. Teachers are also on strike in England. They will continue their movement on Thursday. The hospital doctors, who started their action on Monday, have still not returned to their posts.
Civil servants went on massive strike. Tens of thousands of public servants are forced to go to food banks while others have to “skipping meals”said on Sky News Mark Serwotka, the general secretary of PCS (Public and Commercial Services Union)the first trade union in the sector.
“It’s a real scandal”he criticized. “It is a shame for the government to have such a level of poverty in the public service”added the trade unionist. “I see these men and women who have dedicated their lives to public service (…) who now have to apply for social assistance”he said again.
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A demonstration is due to take place in the middle of the day in the district of Westminster, where the Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt will reveal his budget to Parliament. Mr. Hunt must in particular present measures to help parents sometimes forced to reduce their professional activity because of the exorbitant cost of childcare, and to encourage older workers to remain in the labor force.