March 17: Who is on strike today and how does it affect you?

Who is on strike today and how does it affect you? Daily update for March 17th

Amazon employees and university staff are leaving today (Image:

This week saw major strike disturbances in the subway, education and several government departments.

Today, while those using public transport will welcome a much-needed respite, university workers and Amazon employees are picketing.

It is the second straight day this week that members of the Education University and College Union (UCU) have left.

The action was part of strikes that have hit 150 universities across the country over wages, working conditions and pension cuts.

UCU Secretary General Jo Grady said: “The university sector in the UK has over £40bn in reserves better force staff to strike and see the campuses shut down.

“There is a clear way out of these disputes, but at the moment the vice chancellors lack the political will to take it. They are failing employees who want to get back to work and students who want to get on with their studies.

“Students understand that employees’ working conditions are their learning conditions, and we are proud to have their support in these disputes. A system that relies on low wages and rampant use of insecure contracts is a system that fails everyone.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Members of the UCU on their picket line at the London College of Communication on March 15, 2023 in London, United Kingdom. Hundreds of thousands of public sector workers walked out today, on the biggest day of industrial action since the current unrest began last November. Teachers, university lecturers, London Underground workers, junior doctors, civil servants and BBC employees have all put down their tools on the day Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveils his spring budget. (Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images)

Members of the UCU on their picket lines at the London College of Communication (Image: Getty)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Sinai Noor/Shutterstock (13824641l) Protesters from diverse groups including teachers, civilian workers, doctors, UCU workers, London Underground workers and others rallied at Hyde Park Corner to protest as part of a nationwide strike pay for more to demonstrate on budget day. Pay the national strike on Budget Day., London, UK - 15th March 2023

University staff have taken industrial action at 150 universities across the country (Image: Shutterstock)

“A solution can be reached, but that is down to the gift of the university vice-chancellors, who urgently need to reassess their priorities and reach an agreement that benefits staff and students.”

Meanwhile, Amazon workers in Coventry have been taking part in industrial action throughout the week.

The company saw its workers stage the first-ever strike in Britain on January 25, when around 300 workers left after being offered a pay rise worth 50p an hour, according to the GMB union.

Workers said “robots in the warehouse are treated better than they are” and claimed they were constantly monitored and verbally abused if they were “idle” for even a few minutes.

A person holds a sign outside the Amazon warehouse in Coventry, UK, during a rally in support of striking Amazon workers.

Amazon employees claim “robots are treated better than they are” (Image: Reuters)

GMB union members on the picket line outside the Amazon fulfillment center in Coventry as Amazon workers go on strike over a wage dispute.

Members of the GMB union on the picket line outside the Amazon fulfillment center in Coventry (Image: PA)

While the strike saga remains rather murky, there was a major breakthrough in negotiations with the NHS today.

The government has announced it has offered a new deal with nurses’ unions, but this has yet to be accepted by staff.

Unions and the government have been at odds over pay for over a week, and it has taken several months of disruption to get the deal through.

The NHS staff council, which represents nurses, ambulance staff and other NHS workers, has said it has completed negotiations and reached a final offer.

The offer consists of a one-off payment for the current financial year 2022/23 valued at £1,655 to £3,789 for Agenda for Change staff in England and a consolidated 5% salary increase for 2023/24.

In an additional commitment to nursing and rescue workers, the government has agreed to create a new salary framework exclusively for all nursing staff, to come into effect in 2024/25.

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Justin Scaccy

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