Day of national strike action causes disruption across Wales

_76166208_75745939A COORDINATED day of strike action caused disruption throughout Wales on Thursday 10th July, with Unions protesting about pay, conditions and pensions. Amongst those striking were civil servants, teachers, council workers and firefighters; necessitating the closure of offices and public buildings, the suspension of waste collection services, and the need for contingency plans to be enacted for fire and rescue services.

More than 900 schools were closed in Wales and a further 200 partially shut, out of a total of 1,600 state schools. All but one of Wales’s national museums was closed, with the National Library in Aberystwyth operating to a restricted service. Rallies were held in 6 locations in Wales, with the general secretary of the Trade Union Congress being quoted as saying that ‘public sector workers would have “no shares” in the UK’s economic recovery, but faced “several more years of penny-pinching and frugal living”‘.

The Welsh Local Government Association sympathised with the Unions’ positions, but stated that it was impossible for its members to agree to their demands. The UK government recently released figures saying that pay restraint saved £1.1bn in 2013/2014, and have condemned the strike action as irresponsible.

Further strikes are planned by several of the unions involved in Thursday’s strike, most notable being the Fire Brigade Union who are in the midst of a long standing dispute over pay and retirement age.