The run-up to Christmas is set to be fraught with disruption as thousands of workers are striking across the UK as they demand better pay, jobs and conditions.
Nurses, paramedics, Border Force, Royal Mail and DWP staff are among the workers that will down tools this week, while more rail strikes are set to cripple services over the festive period.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) at 14 companies and Network Railwalked out again on Friday (16 December), after an unprecedented nurses strike, and more walkouts are to come.
However, some planned strikes have been called off in recent days, including a 72-hour strike by ground handling staff at Heathrow Airport which was suspended by Unite after private contractors Menzies made an improved pay offer. Strikes by security guards on Eurostar that were due to go ahead on Friday and Sunday were also suspended after contractor Mitie made a fresh pay offer.
Despite this, many services will still be impacted by industrial action over the coming days causing widespread disruption before Christmas. Listed are all the strike dates coming up this week and the industries affected.
Monday 19 December
DVSA driving test examiners and staff at staff at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will walk out on strike on Monday over demands for better pay, jobs and conditions. Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) in Liverpool and Doncaster who are employed by the DWP will take action from 19 December until Christmas Eve, and then again from 29 to 31 December.
The strikes will affect driving test centres in different parts of Great Britain at different times, with north-west England and Yorkshire and the Humber being impacted on Monday. Walkouts on 28 to 31 December, and 3 January, will impact the east of England, East Midlands, West Midlands and parts of London, while further action from 4 to 10 January will affect London, south-east England, south-west England and Wales.
PCS members working in the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) Customer Service Centre resume strike action on Monday, with walkouts to take place from 19 to 23 December, while Unite members working for Highlands and Islands Airports will strike, affecting 11 small hubs in Scotland.
Tuesday 20 December
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will hold its second day of strikes on Tuesday 20 December at 76 NHS hospitals and trusts as the dispute over pay continues.
DVSA strikes continue in the North West, Yorkshire and Humber, and North Wales, and RPA staff continue their walkout.
Unison workers at the Environment Agency refuse to provide “on call” cover for unexpected incidents.
Wednesday 21 December
More than 10,000 ambulance workers and other NHS staff across nine trusts in England will stage a strike co-ordinated by the GMB, Unison and Unite. In a separate dispute in Scotland, strikes by ambulance staff and some NHS workers have been called off after members of Unison and Unite voted to accept the Scottish government’s most recent pay deal.
The DVSA strike continues in the North West, Yorkshire and Humber and North Wales, and RPA staff continue their walkout.
Thursday 22 December
Railway cleaners across the country with the RMT union will launch a strike, while National Highways workers begin a walkout in London and the South East.
RMT Eurostar security staff could stage a walkout, depending on the outcome of a members vote on the latest pay offer from contractor Mitie.
Unite members working for Highlands and Islands Airports will stage another strike, and the DVSA strike continues in the North West, Yorkshire and Humber and North Wales.
RPA staff continue their walkout and Unison workers at the Environment Agency refuse to provide “on call” cover for unexpected incidents.
Friday 23 December
Royal Mail workers will walkout again for another 48-hour strike covering 23 and 24 December.
The RMT railway cleaners’ national strike continues and RMT Eurostar security staff could also stage a walkout.
The National Highways workers’ strike continues in London and the South East, and the DVSA strike continues in the North West, Yorkshire and Humber and North Wales.
PCS members in Border Force start a wave of strikes, including 24 to 28 December, and 29 to 31 December. Around 1,000 employed by the Home Office will walk out at London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow airports, and PCS members will also strike at the port of Newhaven on the same dates.
Saturday 24 December
RMT railway workers will stage another strike from 6pm on Christmas Eve, while Royal Mail workers continue national strike action.
The DVSA strike continues in the North West, Yorkshire and Humber and North Wales, and Unison staff at the Environment Agency refuse to volunteer to attend incidents.