March has been a momentous month for trade unions and the rights of workers, but there’s plenty of disputes about unfair pay and working conditions not yet resolved.
March has been a historic month for trade unions and the workers’ rights. The RMT Union secured a major victory over pay, jobs and conditions, following a long-running dispute with Network Rail. There were also a number of big wins for Unite, which secured double-digit pay deals and breakthroughs in fair pay and conditions for members.
However, disputes over the pay and conditions in many sectors have not yet been resolved.
Here is a list of the strike action set to take place in April 2023.
Junior doctors to walk out
Junior doctors in England are to strike for four days in April as the row over pay continues. The British Medical Association (BMA) has announced the 96-hour walk-out will take place from April 11 to April 15. The union has hit out at the government, claiming they are not serious about resolving the dispute, and accusing health secretary Steve Barclay of failing to make a credible offer.
The BMA is calling for the government to address estimates that junior doctors have seen a 26 percent real terms pay cut since 2008. The estimates are based on RPI inflation rates. According to the BMA’s estimates, to meet the real terms pay cut, the government would have to increase junior doctors’ pay by around 35 percent.
Dr Vivek Trivedi and Dr Robert Laurenson, co-chairs of the BMA junior doctor committee, said the government ‘has dragged its feet at every opportunity.’
“It has not presented any credible offer and is refusing to accept that there is any case for pay restoration, describing our central ask as ‘unrealistic’ and ‘unreasonable’. Even yesterday they continued to add new unacceptable preconditions to talks instead of getting on and trying to find a resolution.
“We, therefore, have no confidence that without further action these negotiations can be successful,” they said in a statement.
98 percent of junior doctors represented by the BMA voted in favour of the 96-hour walk-out in April.
Continuing the rolling programme of strike action that has been taking place in test centres throughout March, DVSA driving examiners are due to take further action in April. The strikes will be held from April 5 to 28, and will involve over 1500 driving examiners and also admin based staff at the centres.
On April 5, 6, 11 and 12, all DVSA employees working at DVSA centres in Swansea Ellipse, Newcastle Lightbox and Newcastle Tyneside House, will strike.
Rolling regional action will take place on April 17 and 18, 20 and 21, 24 and 25, and 27 and 28.
More than 1500 members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) who work in the National Traffic Operations Centre in Quinton, West Midlands, are to strike from April 3 to 7. The strike is part of a national campaign over pay, job security, redundancy terms and pensions.
Security guards at Heathrow Airport
Over 1,400 security guards who are employed by Heathrow Airports Ltd (HAL) and are represented by Unite are to stage a 10-day walk-out over the Easter holidays. The strike will begin on March 31 and last until April 9.
Unite’s regional co-ordinating officer Wayne King has said: ‘Strike action will cause huge disruption and delays at Heathrow throughout Easter but this dispute is entirely of HAL’s own making it has had every opportunity to make a fair pay offer but has failed to do so.’
A Heathrow spokesperson told Sky News ‘contingency plans’ are in place.
Passport Office staff
More than 1,000 staff at passport offices in Liverpool, Glasgow, Belfast, London, Southport, Newport, and Peterborough, are due to take industrial action. The staff are members of the PCS Union. The strike dates are April 3 and May 6.
British Museum and Library workers
Members of the PCS Union who work at the British Museum and British Library are set to strike in April. The British Library strike will take place from April 3-16, and at the British Museum from April 6 – 12. It is the latest in a series of strikes over pay at the British Museum.
The RMT has called off its two remaining rail strikes that were due to take place on March 30 and April 1.
In a statement, RMT said: “Following further discussions between the RMT and the Rail Delivery Group [RDG] earlier today, industrial action scheduled for 30 March and 1 April is suspended.”
“A proposal was tabled by the RDG, which could lead to a resolution to resolve the current national rail dispute through a new offer.
“The [National Executive Council] has therefore suspended strike action … RMT will have further talks with the RDG with a view to securing a new offer on pay, job security and working conditions.
“The dispute remains on and the union will continue to make preparations for a reballot when the current mandate runs out in mid-May,” the spokesperson added.
Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward
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