Thousands of civil servants to strike over pay on UK Budget Day

Healthcare workers hold placards at a picket line outside St Thomas' Hospital in London on Feb 6, 2023. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON – About 100,000 UK civil servants will strike next month on the day Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt unveils his fiscal plan.

A further 33,000 employees from the UK’s tax agency are poised to join them.

The action is set for March 15 and could affect a range of public services, the Public and Commercial Services union said in a statement.

These include driving tests, passport applications and welfare payments.

A ballot for 33,000 workers at His Majesty’s Revenue & customs is due on Feb 28, and strikes could also be called for mid-March.

The civil servants were part of the half a million workers who coordinated walkouts earlier this month in response to the government’s refusal to revisit pay settlements for the current fiscal year.

Industrial action is escalating across health sectors and continuing in the mail and rail industries.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak “doesn’t seem to understand that the more he ignores our members’ demands for a pay rise to get them through the cost-of-living crisis, the more angry and more determined he makes them”, said PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka. BLOOMBERG

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