Daily Left News

Industrial strife continues into Spring 2024 with transport strikes dominating in April. Ballots are also underway in multiple sectors which could see more sweeping strike action throughout the year as discontent over pay and conditions in workplaces remain. 

Train drivers rolling strikes

Rail union Aslef has called another series of strikes in the long-running and bitter dispute with 16 train companies and the government to secure a pay rise for train drivers. In an escalation of strike action, the union announced a rolling programme of one-day strikes along with a six-day overtime ban, with action stretching from Thursday 4th to Tuesday 9th of April.

Train drivers will walk out at Avanti West Coast, East Midlands Railway, West Midlands Trains, and CrossCountry on Friday 5 April. At Chiltern, GWR, LNER, Northern, and TransPennine Trains on Saturday 6 April. At c2c, Greater Anglia, GTR Great Northern Thameslink, Southeastern, Southern/Gatwick Express, South Western Railway main line and depot drivers, and SWR Island Line on Monday 8 April.

Members will also refuse to work their rest days from Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 April and from Monday 8 to Tuesday 9 April.

Commenting on the latest strikes announcement, Mick Whelan, Aslef leader said: “We have given the government every opportunity to come to the table but it is now clear they do not want to resolve this dispute. They are happy for it go on and on. Because we are not going to give up.”

London Underground walkouts 

Tube drivers for London Underground will walkout on Monday 8 April, and again on Saturday 4 May after voting overwhelmingly for industrial action over terms and conditions

Predicted to cause significant disruption to the service, drivers are walking out after members accused management of imposing terms and conditions without agreement or assurances that existing assurances would be met. 

Customer Service Managers responsible for running London Underground stations are also braced for strike action this month, with members of the TSSA rail union announcing walkouts on Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11. Workers are concerned about the company’s ‘Stations Changes’ proposals, with potential changes to terms and conditions, job role and location.

Heathrow Airport strikes

Border Force staff at Heathrow Airport are taking four days of strike action from April 11. Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union who carry out immigration controls and passport checks voted by 90% to strike over a new roster and changes to shift patterns. 

On March 28 the union gave ministers 14 days to withdraw the ‘unfair and unnecessary’ proposals, which the union said could see 250 people forced out of the job.

“Some members are heart-broken that the Border Force has become ‘unprofessional and inhumane’,” said PCS leader Fran Heathcote.

“If the government is serious about border security, it should look at Border Force officers’ job security, look after its staff, scrap the changes and work with us to protect jobs and working conditions.”

Bus workers 

Over 200 drivers and engineers working for a bus company in the North East of England will take two weeks of strike action in protest over pay and conditions. 

The Arriva Northumbria employees will begin strike action for a week on 7 April and again for the week beginning 21 April. Arriva drivers are currently the lowest paid out of all three main operators in Tyne & Wear with the company refusing to offer an improved pay offer above 4%. 

Unite the union general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Arriva is behaving appallingly given it made millions off the backs of our members and is about to be sold off to a Miami-based private equity firm. 

“This employer doesn’t care about its workforce and its overseas owners don’t care about the communities in the north east.”

Who has a strike mandate or is balloting for strike action? 

Junior doctors in England voted to continue striking until mid-September in their long-running dispute. Another six-month mandate was overwhelmingly backed by members of the BMA union in their struggle to achieve pay restoration. It comes as consultants are being balloted over an offer from the government which the BMA has recommended the doctors’ leaders to accept. 

Port Talbot and Llanwern workers are currently being balloted for industrial action over Tata Steel’s plans to close blast furnaces and cut 2,800 jobs. Around 1,500 workers at the sites are being ballotted by Unite the union, ending Thursday 11 April, which could see strike action begin before the end of April. 

Staff at Goldsmiths University have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action over ‘devastating’ job cuts proposed by the prestigious London university’s management. As part of a ‘transformation programme’, over 130 jobs will be cut equating to one in six academic staff at the institution. Jo Grady warned that “unprecedented industrial unrest” will take place unless the plan is stopped. 

Teachers in England’s biggest teaching union voted in favour of strike action in ballot results released at the end of March. Representing 300,000 teachers across England, NEU members are willing to strike for a fully funded pay increase, showing “mass discontent remains within the profession”, according to NEU general secretary Daniel Kebede.

GMB staff have also voted in favour of strikes over claims the union has failed to tackle ‘institutional sexism’ amid damning allegations about the senior leadership. While GMB members working at TSSA are voting in a ballot on strike action over a “culture of bullying, harassment and victimisation” at the rail union. 

The PCS union has launched a national strike ballot in 171 government departments for a set of pay demands, pension justice and job protection from the UK government. The ballot will close on 13 May. 

The Royal College of Nursing has also ramped up its warnings over potential strikes by nurses in 2024 as discontent grows in the public sector over historic pay erosions and deteriorating work conditions.

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

The post UK strikes: List of everyone taking industrial action in April  appeared first on Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate.

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