Thousands of workers across the UK go on strike as cost of living keeps rising

Felixstowe port handles around 4 million containers a year.
Felixstowe port handles around 4 million containers a year. Copyright AFP
By Euronews
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Workers at the UK’s largest container port are set to walk out, joining thousands of other across the country striking for better pay.

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More than 1,900 workers at the UK’s largest container port will walk out on Sunday, joining thousands of others across the country calling for better pay as the cost of living keeps increasing.

For eight days, workers including machine operators and crane drivers at Felixstowe port -- which handles around 4 million containers a year -- will be striking over a pay dispute.

The action comes as just one in five of the country’s trains will run on Saturday, while more than 45,000 rail workers are also taking part in strikes.

According to the Secretary-General of the UK's Rail, Maritime and Transport union, Mick Lynch, the strike will continue as offered pay raises won't match the cost of living.

"There is an offer on the table from Network Rail, which is 50% of our members, it's a three-year pay deal at 8%, and that would have to cover next year as well as this year and last year,” Lynch said.

“Inflation this week on the retail price index is 12.3%. So if we accepted that pay offer, we would be getting about a quarter of next year's inflation, which is likely to be 15% or 16%. So our members aren't prepared to accept that."

Most of London’s underground tube stations did not run because of a separate strike.

The strikes come as the UK deals with an inflation rate of 10.1% -- a 40-year high, with an increasing number of people struggling to pay for the rising cost of food and energy.

Other workers, such as lawyers, British telecom staff, and postal workers have also announced walkouts later this month.

However, responses to strikes are mixed across the country, as disruptions have put a stop to some weekend travel.

"Yes, I do feel sympathy for them, however there has to be another way because the disruption is phenomenal all over the country, it means you can't get anywhere,” said a football fan.

Another person said: "I'm glad that people have the chance to make their point. But of course, it's our suffering and not the guys going to work in their limos and black cab."

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