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UK's May slams December strike wave

Monday, December 19, 2016 - 01:24

Britain's Prime Minister has criticised a wave of strikes sweeping Britain as unacceptable action that showed ''contempt'' for ordinary people in the run-up to Christmas. As Sonia Legg reports, walkouts by airline cabin staff, baggage handlers, rail conductors and Post Office counter workers are all planned this month.

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Less than a week until Christmas and Santa's on strike. He's supporting post office counter workers in Britain. They've downed tools for two days over job security and pensions. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CWU GENERAL SECRETARY, DAVE WARD, SAYING: "And what this is about. It's not about them as individuals, this is about them fighting for the future of their industry, of our industry, and of the great British post office." Just last week it was rail workers on strike. Conductors on the Southern line staged the latest in over a dozen walkouts. The long-running dispute is over whose job it is to open and close train doors. Airline cabin staff and baggage handlers have also planned strikes this month. (SOUNDBITE) INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, DARREN SINDEN, SAYING: "If you read the headlines today in some of the papers you'll see there has been around 280,000 of man hours lost to strikes in 2016, which I believe is double the rate of last year." The industrial action prompted criticism from the Prime Minister. Theresa May said it showed "contempt" for ordinary people in the run up to Christmas. (SOUNDBITE) INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, DARREN SINDEN, SAYING: "If you put yourself in the workers shoes, they see rising employment, they see a chance to flex their muscles in an improving economy." But it may not be improving for much longer. The industrial action comes just three months before Britain is due to start the process of leaving the EU.

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UK's May slams December strike wave

Monday, December 19, 2016 - 01:24