UK union says 100,000 public sector workers go on strike

Britain’s Commercial and Public Services (PCS) union said on Wednesday that 100,000 of its members in 124 government departments would go on strike on February 1 in a dispute over pay, pensions and job security.

Britain is experiencing a wave of strikes in sectors ranging from health to the railways as pay rises fail to keep pace with double-digit inflation. Thousands of ambulance workers held a second day of strike action on Wednesday, while many schools across Scotland were closed due to a teacher walkout.

The PCS union has over the past month carried out an ongoing program of strikes at various government departments and other public sector bodies, which has included driving test examiners, border force personnel and traffic officers.

“We have warned the government that our dispute would escalate if they did not listen and we are as good as our word,” said PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.

Serwotka said he would meet with a government minister on Thursday and that the dispute could be resolved if more money was offered to his members.

The PCS also said it will vote next week for a further 33,000 members in five other departments, including HM Revenue and Customs, to join national strike action.

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