UK strike days calendar – the public service stoppages planned for December | Industrial action

The wave of strikes sweeping the country reaches a peak this week, threatening to bring Britain to a standstill as workers across the transport network, NHS, Royal Mail and civil service take industrial action in rows over pay and conditions.

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Further unrest could beset the government in the new year as strike ballots for firefighters and teachers close in January, while junior doctors are scheduled to vote next month, and London Underground workers have approved a mandate for another six months of industrial action.

With wide-ranging protests in the public and private sectors, Rishi Sunak threatened this month to bring in “new tough laws” to limit strike action.

No details have been released by No 10 on the plans, but Sharon Graham, the general secretary of Unite, said the union would not be “intimidated by anti-trade union attacks” and was “ready industrially and financially” to challenge any new measures.

Here are the main public service strikes planned for December and January:

Monday 12 December

A strike by Unison members working for the NHS will take place in Northern Ireland.

Tuesday 13 December

Members of the RMT working for Network Rail and 14 train operating companies are scheduled to stage the first of days of strikes.

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National Rail has warned there will be a “very limited service” on strike days and there will be “no trains at all on some routes”.

TSSA members who work for Avanti West Coast stage a 48-hour stoppage.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union will take action spread over the month that will affect numerous government agencies and departments.

The first day includes staff at the government’s Rural Payments Agency (RPA), who disburse funds for the agricultural sector.

Staff at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will strike starting on this date in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Wednesday 14 December

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) continue strike action in an increasingly bitter dispute with Royal Mail over pay and conditions.

More than 115,000 postal staff are expected to take part in industrial action that will continue in the run-up to Christmas and is expected to disrupt the delivery of letters and packages.

Other strikes include RMT members working for Network Rail and the 14 train operating companies, TSSA members who work for Avanti West Coast, staff at the RPA and staff at the DVSA in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Thursday 15 December

Up to 100,000 nurses with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) are expected to take part in the first of a series of strikes across 53 NHS organisations in England. Nurses will also take industrial action in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Members of the CWU will strike for a second consecutive day and staff at the RPA and DVSA in Scotland and Northern Ireland continue industrial action.

Friday 16 December

PCS members working for National Highways will take part in the first of 12 days of strike action over the festive period.

The strike is taking place on a regional basis, with the first action covering the north-west, Yorkshire and Humber and the north-east.

Strikes are also expected by RMT members at Network Rail and 14 train operating companies; TSSA members with Avanti West Coast; Abellio bus workers in the south and west of London; staff at the RPA and DVSA staff in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Saturday 17 December

Further strike action by RMT members working for Network Rail and 14 train operating companies; TSSA members who work for Avanti West Coast, c2c, and East Midlands Railway; Abellio bus workers in the south and west of London; members of PCS working for National Highways.

Sunday 18 December

The DVSA strike continues for staff in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Monday 19 December

Members of Unite who work at the Highlands and Islands airports in Scotland are striking. The 11 airports affected are Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Dundee, Inverness, Islay, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh, Tiree and Wick.

DVSA driving examiners to strike in the north-west, Yorkshire and Humber, and north Wales and RPA staff resume their walkout.

Tuesday 20 December

Strike action by nurses from the RCN in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The DVSA strike continues in the north-west, Yorkshire and Humber, and in north Wales. RPA staff continue their strike.

Wednesday 21 December

Ambulance workers and other NHS staff will stage a strike coordinated by GMB, Unison and Unite in England and Wales.

The DVSA strike continues in the north-west, Yorkshire and Humber and north Wales. RPA staff continue their action.

Thursday 22 December

Cleaners with the RMT will begin the first of a number of strike days at rail firms including Avanti, although services are unlikely to halt.

Members of Unite who work at the Highlands and Islands airports in Scotland strike again. National Highways workers in London and the south-east commence strike action.

The DVSA strike continues in the north-west, Yorkshire and Humber and north Wales. RPA staff continue their action.

Friday 23 December

RMT cleaners for a number of rail companies and the DVSA staff in the north-west, Yorkshire and Humber, and north Wales are all due to take action.

CWU members restart nationwide strike action against their employer Royal Mail.

PCS members at Border Force start a wave of strikes at Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow airports. National Highway workers in London and the south of England continue their strike.

Saturday 24 December

CWU members continue their strike into a second consecutive day.

Members of RMT working for Network Rail will strike, although this will mostly affect engineering works.

PCS members at Border Force continue strike action at airports.

The DVSA strike continues in the north-west, Yorkshire and Humber and north Wales, as will the National Highways strike in London and the south-east.

Sunday 25 December

The RMT strike will continue, although no services run on Christmas day.

PCS members at Border Force continue strike action at airports, alongside PCS members who work for National Highways in London and the south-east.

Monday 26 December

The RMT rail strike will continue.

PCS members at Border Force continue strike action at airports.

Tuesday 27 December

The RMT strike continues until 6am.

Wednesday 28 December

Ambulance workers and other NHS staff will stage another strike coordinated by the GMB, Unison and Unite in England and Wales.

The DVSA driving examiners’ strikes will start in the east of England, east Midlands, West Midlands and parts of London.

PCS members at Border Force continue strike action at airports.

Thursday 29 December

The DVSA strike continues in the East of England, east Midlands, West Midlands and parts of London.

PCS members at Border Force continue strike action at airports.

Ground handlers employed by the private contractor Menzies at Heathrow airport, who are members of Unite, are due to start a 72-hour strike. A previous 72-hour strike due to start on 16 December was cancelled after Menzies made an improved pay offer. Unite will ballot members on the pay offer, and if rejected, they will strike on 29 December.

Friday December 30

Strikes by National Highways employees will kick off in the West Midlands and the south-west.

The DVSA strike continues in the east of England, east Midlands, West Midlands and parts of London.

PCS members at Border Force continue strike action at airports, as do Unite ground handlers at Heathrow.

Saturday 31 December

RMT members working as cleaners for a number of rail companies are due to take action.

Action by National Highways employees will continue in the West Midlands and south-west.

PCS members at Border Force continue strike action at airports. Unite ground handlers at Heathrow are due to strike if members reject pay offer.

The DVSA strike continues in the east of England, east Midlands, West Midlands and parts of London.

Tuesday 3 January

RMT members working for National Rail restart strike action.

National Highways traffic officers to begin nationwide strike.

The DVSA strike continues in the east of England, east Midlands, West Midlands and parts of London, while staff at the RPA resume their action.

Wednesday 4 January

The RMT rail strike continues.

Second day of nationwide strike by National Highways traffic officers.

The DVSA driving examiners’ strikes will start in London, south-east England, south-west England and Wales. RPA staff continue their action.

Thursday 5 January

Train drivers represented by Aslef launch a national day of strike action.

The DVSA strike continues in London, south-east England, south-west England and Wales. RPA staff continue their action.

Friday 6 January

The RMT rail strike continues.

The DVSA strike continues in London, south-east England, south-west England and Wales. RPA staff continue their action.

National Highways workers in the east Midlands and eastern regions will begin strike action.

Saturday 7 January

The RMT rail strike continues.

The DVSA strike continues in London, south-east England, south-west England and Wales, while the National Highways workers in the east Midlands and eastern regions take strike action for the second consecutive day.

Sunday 8 January

The DVSA strike continues in London, south-east England, south-west England and Wales.

Monday 9 January

The DVSA strike continues in London, south-east England, south-west England and Wales. RPA staff resume their action.

Tuesday 10 January

The DVSA strike continues in London, south-east England, south-west England and Wales. RPA staff continue their action.

This explainer, first published on 12 December 2022, is being updated to reflect the latest information. Please click on the timestamp to see when it was last modified. Any significant corrections made to this or previous versions of the article will continue to be footnoted in line with Guardian editorial policy.


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