Is Britain headed for another winter of discontent?

Workers across UK are protesting over pay rise and job conditions which draws similarity to the winter of discontent in the 1978.

Industrial actions are taking place all over UK where workers demand proper compensation for the rise in cost of living.

Widespread strikes by workers from various sectors like Railway, NHS, Royal Mail etc has disrupted lives of people as they face delays at train stations and post offices.

Britain had experienced a wave of strikes in 1978 where Ford workers, lorry drivers, council workers and NHS staff had walked out which put a halt to services across the nation, calling it “The winter of discontent.”

NHS England’s website states, “Trade unions representing NHS staff are in dispute with the government over the 2022/23 pay award. The NHS wants to see a resolution as soon as possible, but pay is a matter for the government and the trade unions.”

Similarly, the rail drivers are pressing for a pay offer due to their low income and rising cost of living. The drivers are setting a 24-hour strike which is hampering rail services across UK. 

Although strike seems like a last resort for protesters, people have mixed reactions as these strikes are disrupting their day to day lives.

Gary Dixon, 44, Aberdare, Train Driver

“I am in the Union, I can’t say much but here it is, I am not a fan of Tory government. They are really money led and all I can say is, Strikes are our last options. We need it.”

Bill Davies, 57, Cardiff, Shop Owner

“I don’t actually have an opinion but it has affected my business in some ways. Like, less people could commute to Cardiff due to the train strikes and lesser people bought my products.”

Dave Henderson, 60, Wales, Retired Bus Driver

“You remember back in the 70s when the companies made people work and did not pay them? It introduced strikes and protests. It is coming back and I do support that but… is it really the right time now? That’s the main question .”

Honor Lewis, 71, Mountain Ash and June Wheels, 73, Hampshire

“I never believe in strikes, never. It doesn’t cure anything because someone might actually loose their job. But I feel sorry for the nurses. I think politicians should get less money, a lot less… and the nurses should be paid more.”

Nikhil Vilsol, 29, India, Nurse

“We are facing shortage of staffs and there are longer shifts for us nowadays. The pay is less and it’s outrageous. Strike is the last resort!”