Much of the UK is at a standstill after what could be the largest strike ever in their country.
Up to half a million British teachers, civil servants, and train drivers walked out over pay in the largest coordinated strike action for a decade on Wednesday, with unions threatening more disruption as the government digs its heels in over pay demands.
The mass walkouts across the country shut schools, halted most rail services, and forced the military to be put on standby to help with border checks on a day dubbed “Walkout Wednesday.” According to unions, as many as 300 thousand teachers took part, they’re the biggest group involved.
Prime minister Rishi Sunak condemned the strikes which forced millions of children to miss school.
His government has taken a hard line against the unions, arguing that giving in to demands for large wage hikes would further fuel Britain’s inflation problem. With inflation running at more than 10 percent the highest level in four decades Britain has seen a wave of strikes in recent months across the public and private sectors, including health and transport workers, Amazon warehouse employees, and Royal Mail postal staff.
Next week, nurses, ambulance staff, paramedics, emergency call handlers, and other healthcare workers are set to stage more walkouts, while firefighters this week also backed a nationwide strike.