UK Environment Agency Workers Go on Strike Over Pay for First Time in History: Reports
15:28 GMT 18.01.2023 (Updated: 15:25 GMT 28.05.2023)
© AP Photo / Frank AugsteinBritish weather
© AP Photo / Frank Augstein
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Staff at the UK Environment Agency (EA) have gone on strike across the country on Wednesday, demanding a pay rise amid rising costs of living, UK media reported.
According to the British media, flood forecasters, coastal risk management officers, sewage plant attendants and other employees of the agency are taking part in the strike in response to what they believe is the government's failure to increase salaries. It is the first ever strike at the agency since it was established in 1996.
The median also noted, citing trade unions, that although the government granted a 2% pay rise to EA employees in November, their salaries have decreased by over 20% "in real terms" since 2010.
Due to the strikes, people living in areas of England that are currently affected by floods would be relying on back-up automated systems for flood alerts and warnings with no monitoring by experienced staff, the newspaper added.
On Tuesday, the EA reported some 70 flood warnings across England following weeks of heavy rain and low temperatures, with difficult weather conditions expected to last until Thursday.
Worker strikes have become more frequent in the UK, in parallel with soaring inflation, which reached a record 11.1% in October. Ex-Prime Minister Liz Truss' failure to curb growing prices and reduce the budget deficit caused her to resign last October. Her successor Rishi Sunak's government has presented a mid-term financial plan and is counting on tax hikes and cuts in public spending to stabilize the economy.