Multiple strikes cause disruption across Sheffield

Continued strike action in Sheffield has caused more workers and unions to form picket lines. 

Hundreds of thousands of workers are striking across the UK over disputes with pay, in order to keep up with the cost of living.

Minesh Parekh, Labour co-operative councillor for Crookes and Crosspool and member of Unite the union said: “The decision to strike is one that no employee takes likely and usually follows a whole series of concerns raised by workers and their unions.”

The RMT rail strikes will affect transport in Sheffield , as Northern rail carries out a reduced timetable with workers walking out on Thursday the 16th and Saturday the 18th of March.

Mr Parekh said: “I’ve stood with nurses , teachers, and environment agency workers, and each of those had vibrant, positive pickets of people with a clear love for their work, but rightly wanting to be properly remunerated for it.”

Strikes in Sheffield have included the University and College Union (UCU) strike with a protest outside Sheffield City Hall, where 77 six form colleges came out to strike to avoid a cut in living standards. 

The UCU continue to strike at universities including the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, after a two week pause, asking members to take action on the 15th of March through till the 17th. 

Mr Parekh said: “We’re in the thirteenth year of a conservative government that has seen real wages constantly fall and presided over the largest fall in living standards on record.”

Junior doctors across the UK are also on strike to demand a 35% pay rise because their pay has not risen in line with the current inflation.

They argue that their pay has been cut by 26% since 2008 and the government needs to respond and come to an agreement quickly. 

Mr Parekh said: “The next labour gov has said it will repeal anti trade union legislation, and is working with workers and their unions to form its policies, working to tackle the climate crisis and restore the balance of power in our economy.”

The government says the pay demands are unaffordable and have called on the unions to negotiate on a fair and realistic deal.

The next UK general election is scheduled to be held no later than the 24th January 2025. 

Written by Abigail Williams

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