Christmas chaos warning with train workers, nurses and civil servants all set to strike in ‘winter of discontent’

Undated file photo of demonstrators from the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London. Around 100,000 civil servants have voted for a national strike over pay, pensions and jobs, the PCS union has announced. Issue date: Thursday November 10, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story INDUSTRY PCS. Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

HUNDREDS of thousands of train workers, nurses and civil servants are set to strike close to Christmas in a chaotic winter of discontent.

Today London was brought to a standstill as Tube workers walked out of the underground.

Around 100,000 civil servants could walk out of work this year

On Wednesday, the Royal College of Nursing announced that a majority of its 300,000 members voted in favour of “historic” strike action.

And just this afternoon around 100,000 civil servants balloted for industrial action in a massive argument with ministers over pay, pensions and job redundancies.

Workers employed by the government to man Job Centres, the Passport Office and Border Force officials are among those ready to walk out.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union, which represents civil servants, voted 86.2 per cent in favour of industrial action.

The union wants a 10 per cent pay rise and said if the government doesn’t put forward “substantial proposals”, strike dates will be decided on next Friday.  

PSC General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The government must look at the huge vote for strike action across swathes of the Civil Service and realise it can no longer treat its workers with contempt.

“Our members have spoken and if the government fails to listen to them, we’ll have no option than to launch a prolonged programme of industrial action reaching into every corner of public life.”

Mr Serwotka added: “Civil servants have willingly and diligently played a vital role in keeping the country running during the pandemic but enough is enough.

“The stress of working in the civil service, under the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis, job cuts and office closures means they’ve reached the end of their tethers.”

Following the RCN strike ballot, staff at 117 NHS trusts in England are expected stage walk-outs, which could last until May next year.

It comes as ministers have refused to meet the RCN’s demands for an 17 per cent pay rise in next week’s budget.

There are fears the disruption will heap more pressure on the NHS at a time when the latest figures show waiting lists have hit another new high – with 7.1m patients waiting to start treatment at the end of September – up from 7m in August.

This morning, Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union Assistant General Secretary, John Leach warned Brits to prepare for more train strikes in the future.

The union is currently locked in a battle with Network Rail and Transport for London over pay, pensions and working conditions.

Mr Leach blasted: “If there’s no progress made around the table on these issues in discussions with the management and they continue to attack our pensions, jobs and contracts, the answer is yes.”

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