Britain is witnessing a widening wave of protests, after today, Thursday, highway workers and railway cleaners began a strike, joining ambulance drivers and employees in many other sectors, while France is facing similar strikes from unions of flight attendants and train observers that resulted in major unrest. in travel traffic.
In Britain, today, Thursday, highway workers and employees began a 4-day strike in London and the southeast of the country, as the strikers demand improved wages and working conditions commensurate with the high inflation rates.
For weeks, Britain has witnessed an escalating wave of strikes in several sectors, most notably the sectors of ambulance drivers, which forced the government - yesterday, Wednesday - to seek the assistance of hundreds of army soldiers to drive ambulances, instead of its original crews on strike.
Thousands of ambulance workers in England and Wales went on strike on Wednesday to demand higher wages, piling pressure on the state-funded NHS, a day after nurses went on strike after last-minute talks between government and unions failed.
The government and unions blamed each other for the potential loss of life as a result of the strikes, and healthcare officials warned of straining a system already in crisis.
The NHS union chairman has warned Prime Minister Rishi Sunak that the safety of patients will be at risk during the ambulance crews' strike.
The strikers are calling for an improvement in their working conditions and an increase in their wages in proportion to the unprecedented inflation the country is experiencing.
A series of strikes has created misery in Britain ahead of Christmas, with railway workers and passport control police also threatening to spoil the holidays due to the government's refusal to accept wage demands.
Employees across all sectors of the British economy are calling for pay rises to combat inflation, the highest in decades, now at around 11%, which is causing the worst cost of living crisis in a generation.
It is expected that Britain will witness a wide series of strikes next January in the event that the demands of the strikers are not met, to begin with a strike of highway workers on January 1, followed by a strike by paramedics, and then a strike by sectors in the railway network. And highway workers from the third to the seventh of January, and the driving examiners strike from the fourth to the tenth of the same month.
Widespread strikes spread across France to protest low wages (Reuters)
France.. travel disruption
For its part, France is preparing for another Christmas witnessing travel disruptions, after the French national railway company “SNCF” (SNCF) was forced to cancel one of the 3 high-speed trains
“TGV” (TGV) due to strikes.
Yesterday, Wednesday, about 200,000 passengers tried to save the Christmas holiday in France, after their trains were canceled due to a new strike by observers.
According to the company's website, the strike action will take effect on Thursday evening, with a notice of strike from the client managers.
The site added that approximately the same situation is expected to occur on December 24 and 25.
The company said that no disruptions to international travel on Thalys and Eurostar trains are expected during that period, with the exception of the Eurostar train stopping on December 26 due to a British strike.
She explained that passengers whose trips have been canceled can change their ticket date without paying the price difference, but most of the operating trains are already full.
The position of the observers, who called for this strike via Facebook, raises the dissatisfaction of the management of the National Railway Company and the government because they are not satisfied with the salary increase granted by 12% over two years.
The company's chief executive, Christophe Vanchet, reiterated his position on Wednesday.
Last year, he described the strike during holidays as a "scandal", considering it "unacceptable", as French government spokesman Olivier Veran said, "At Christmas, we do not strike."
In addition to the railways, some unions of Air France flight attendants announced a strike until January 2.