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Strike Action

One theme often larger-than-life is strike action which can have devastating consequences for both workers and the economy in general. Take the United Kingdom’s railway strikes which at the time of writing this blog for English students was in the fifth day of disruption with deadlock still unbroken.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union at Network Rail and 14 other train operators will walk out on Friday in action that is set to last 48 hours. Only around 20% of normal services are due to run, with trains starting later and finishing earlier than usual.

The government have decided to intervene by setting parameters for striking. In other words, unions have limitations for strike action which will control the quantity of services disrupted. Personally, I’m against strike action, justly as it involves innocent victims. I appreciate the need to stand up for your rights, however, if an employee is unhappy then perhaps a new job should be sought.

Nurses are another group of employees who are taking strike action. Currently, indications have come from the Royal College of Nursing's leadership that members may be asked to accept a ten percent pay rise, little more than half the nineteen percent they are seeking. Thousands of nurses walked out on December 15 and 20, and the RCN has said its members will strike again on January 18 and 19 unless negotiations are opened.

Nearly half of parents feel unable to access NHS care for their children which is not only worrying, but against the nurses’ moral code to tend for the sick. There have been several complaints coming from the elderly, as patience bedridden in hospital are lacking support services due to lack of nurses. England is going through a difficult time dealing with disgruntled nurses.

The bottom line is the coronavirus pandemic isn’t an excuse to disrupt services. Everyone has suffered to some degree, and therefore due to reduced train services during the lockdown, yes tickets to travel have had to come up to cover the negative fall economically speaking, but then further time is needed to sort out the issue, and then it would be appropriate for employees to get a pay rise.

The strikes have meant being unable to travel to Victoria via train for a day trip to meet up with my brother, and go out for walks around London, and of course, a pub crawl. Greedy strikers aren’t helping!

Take care!

Pro. Carl Boniface

Vocabulary builder:

Larger-than-life (adj) = exaggerated, overstated, attention-grabbing

Sought (adj) = required, wanted, hunted, sought after, pursued, search for, try to find, hunt for, seek out. Sought is the past of the verb to seek.

Sort out (phrasal verb) = pick out, divide, isolate, remove, sieve, weed out, winnow. To arrange things systematically in groups or according to type. "She sorted out the clothes, some to be kept, some to be thrown away." 2. To resolve a problem or difficulty. "The teacher helps the children to sort out their problems."

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