Is the current NHS strike justified?
A million British people are on strike
London - More than a million civil servants went out of work on Thursday in protest at the British government's public sector austerity measures, union figures said. The largest strike since Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron took office, involved a wide range of professionals including civil servants, teachers and street sweepers.
Protests were planned in several cities, including Trafalgar Square in London. With the strike, the unions are protesting against the fact that salaries have not kept pace with the rising cost of living for years.
Cameron's government frozen public sector salaries for two years in 2010 and has only increased them to a limited extent since then. Trades Union Congress general secretary Frances O'Grady said the strikers were demanding not to be left out of the economic recovery. "We should all get a fair share as the economy grows," said O'Grady. The UK economy fell sharply as a result of the global financial crisis in 2008, but overcame the recession in 2009.
The government expressed confidence that most civil servants would show up for work regardless of the strike. The Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Francis Maude, defended the previous policy and called the strike unjustified. "We went through a deep, deep recession, we had a huge budget deficit and we needed wage restraint," Maude said on the BBC. In addition, salaries in the public sector have increased more than in the private sector. "If we had increased it more, more jobs would have been lost," said Maude. (APA / red, derStandard.at, July 10, 2014)
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