According to the Office for National Statistics, 843,000 working days were lost due to strike action in December 2022. Britain is facing the highest inflation level in 40 years which has been accompanied by little increase in working wages, and as a consequence, we are facing a nationwide outbreak of strikes. Industrial action has been taken by NHS workers, public transport workers, civil servants, teachers, and more.
We are living in a cost of living crisis, and the public is divided in support for strike action.
In a YouGov poll in January, there was a difference of almost 20% in public support for nurses and transport workers striking. Adam McDonnell wrote that support for strike action correlates strongly with workers’ perceived contribution to society. Employee satisfaction and trust between employee and employer are vital for a business to become successful, as it leads to higher productivity and efficiency.
In a study conducted by Salesforce, it was revealed that employees were 4.6 times more likely to perform better if they felt heard. Workers strike for better pay, pensions, and working hours and conditions, such as the outrageous average of £17.40 p/h that nurses are paid despite their hard work and immense contribution to our society.
Although the majority of people agree that strikes are necessary, some people believe strikes should not be permitted due to the constant disruption it produces - our city is not complete without everyone contributing to our society. Without healthcare specialists, our country’s citizen’s lives are at risk, such as the week-long strike at St George’s Hospital. Without education specialists, the students of the country will miss out on essential education and learning. Therefore, strikes have a negative impact on the build up in society from the dismissal of vital workers.
In our opinion, strikes should be permitted, since people are doing it for a good reason such as low wage pay or improper working conditions. People would not have gone on strikes in the first place if employers and the government had supported the employee’s necessities. If this was done, people would agree with each other and strikes wouldn’t be necessary as people would be able to keep up with the living cost and the economy would grow.
To sum up, we believe that every person deserves respect and deserves to have their opinion heard, and strikes are a necessary part of this.