Strike action, now it appears it is the turn of Junior Doctors, and currently it is Train Drivers and maybe some other Rail Workers, but there are many in the UK who feel they are in need of a salary increase as salary rates have been eroded for many years and now we have rampart inflation and many commodity costs increases, with energy just one.
But many in the UK are only on the National Living Wage of £9.50 per hour, or a few on the Real Living Wage of £9.90 per hour and many of these persons if they did go on strike, the most vulnerable in the UK would suffer, and many deaths could well occur.
In this, I include care workers, who in this recent COVID pandemic worked tremendously and many were treated abdominally, especially by this Government, especially those in care homes, but not exclusively for there are also care workers in home care, respite care, hospice care, Supported Living care and others for both children and adults. These workers have been abandoned in respect of sufficient salaries, working conditions, holiday and sick pay and more, for many years, more than I can remember.
While you can say this is the responsibility of their employers the Care Agencies, they in turn receive the care fees from Local Authorities, who receive the money to do so, mainly from Governments grants which from 2010 have been severely reduced by austerity cuts. Cuts supposedly to be made from saving, but there were little savings to be made, unless cuts to services were made and in many instances these cuts were severe and social care was not immune from these cuts and these cuts are still ongoing.
Care is not the unskilled profession it is made out to be, for to care for persons needs many skills to ensure the right care is being given to everyone who needs to be in receipt of care. For, unlike, it is assumed, it should not be a ‘one fits all’ for all care should be ‘person-centred’. Based on each individuals needs and choices and not what the system dictates.
This should also be so in many other professions of which transport is one of many, for the needs of all should be a consideration for everyone of us and to withdraw labour is not only a withdrawal of transport facilities, but a withdrawal of means for others to lead their own lives and in many instances be a means to restrict equality, such as is being seen by persons with disabilities being left abandoned on various forms of transport, yes, maybe not by strike actions, but an insufficiency of required staff.
Now is not the time to take any strike actions, even, if there is any appropriate time, for there should be compulsory arbitration, which would have to be binding on all parties.