Do you think there are a lot of strikes going on in the Netherlands now? In the UK, the strike agenda is in the newspapers
Garbage not collected, buses not running: In the Netherlands we have dealt with several strikes recently. But this is nothing compared to what is happening in the UK right now. “Every newspaper publishes a strike schedule every week.”
The series of strikes described by UK correspondent Leah van Buechhoven seems endless: civil servants, teachers, healthcare workers, bus drivers – all quit their jobs for better working conditions. But the British patiently bear it.
A call for better working conditions
“From today until Thursday, newly graduated doctors are on strike, and there are about 48,000 doctors,” says van Beckhoven. “It’s not being taken care of, so this is a huge escalation in healthcare.” Doctors want better wages and better working conditions.
“On Wednesday, the London Underground will be flat and civil servants will go on strike. About 100,000 civil servants will stop working. A driver’s license cannot be sent or a driving test taken. Hundreds of civil servants who work in ministries and university staff were also put on strike on Wednesday.” It will affect 2.5 million students.” Even professional groups that would normally keep silent, such as the Train Examiners, are going on strike.
“Just this week,” says van Beckhoven. Next week, teachers in primary and secondary education will strike for two days in a row. Strikes have continued in the UK since last summer. Inflation has risen, but wages have not risen with it.
Van Beckhoven says the British take the blows patiently and learn to live with them. “The British do not take to the streets in yellow vests and do not drive tractors to Westminster. They are completely exhausted by the economic situation in recent years.”
The supermarket shelves are empty
England is crippled by a bad economy. Since 2008 there has been a recession in the country. Brexit, which came later than expected, certainly didn’t help.
The fact that things are not going well economically can be seen in the supermarket, for example. “It scares you,” Van Beckhoven says. “Fruits and vegetables are no longer available in many supermarkets. This has been the case for a long time.”
It ends when the government starts negotiating
Van Beckhoven hears from many Brits that spirit Outside. “They say, ‘This is another problem. The strikes are another obstacle. This country is no longer functioning.'” The strikes will not end until the government starts negotiating. And this has now started in a few sectors, such as the healthcare sector.
Wages in this sector haven’t held up for some time, while everything has become more expensive, says van Beckhoven. In the healthcare sector, wages are now lower than they were in 2008, they said. “But if the government does what healthcare workers want, increasing wages by 10 to 15 percent, inflation will go up,” the government says. So there seems to be no end to the strike wave at the moment.
“Travel enthusiast. Alcohol lover. Friendly entrepreneur. Coffeeaholic. Award-winning writer.”