Strikes December 2022: What action is planned around Christmas?

Empty Kings Cross railway station

An empty Kings Cross station in London – during a previous UK rail strike (Image: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Christmas is just around the corner – but December 2022 will also bring a bunch of fresh strike actions.

There will be limited festive spirit if you rely on UK trains or London buses to get you around as further industrial action has been announced by the RMT for December and January.

More pickets are forming this December, as postal workers and nursing staff have also announced strike dates.

Which strikes take place in the run-up to Christmas? And how might they affect you?

Here’s everything you need to know.

Train strikes in Britain

Picket for RMT in October 2022

RMT members on strike in October 2022 (Image: Geoffrey Swaine/Shutterstock)

More than 40,000 rail workers from the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will go on strike for four days in December.

These dates are as follows:

  • Tuesday December 13th
  • Wednesday, December 14th
  • Friday, December 16th
  • Saturday, 12/17

These are nationwide strikes that will affect trains across the country.

In addition, there is a ban on overtime from Sunday, December 18th to Monday, January 2nd.

RMT said of the recent strikes: “Despite the best efforts of our negotiators, it is clear that the government is directly interfering with our attempts to reach an agreement.

“The union suspended previous strike action in good faith to allow for intensive negotiations to resolve the dispute. However, Network Rail has failed to offer our members an improved offer on jobs, pay and terms during the last two weeks of talks.’

Network Rail chief negotiator Tim Shoveller said: “No one can deny the precarious financial hole the railroad finds itself in.

“The hitting makes that hole bigger and the task of finding a solution is getting harder and harder.

“Only through reform where nobody loses their jobs can savings be made which can then be translated into an improved supply. And while progress has been made in the past two weeks, we have yet to find that breakthrough.

“We will not give up and hope that the RMT will return to the table with a more realistic assessment of the situation.”

On December 11th and 12th, Avanti West Coast routes could be affected by planned strikes, also by the RMT.

Bus strikes in London

London bus stop

A number of London buses will be affected by strikes in the capital this December (Image: Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

London buses are set to be hit by several days of strikes in December.

Bus workers from the Abellio and Metroline companies are the ones taking industrial action, so these buses will be hit on strike days – while other buses are running but busier than usual.

There will be disruptions for users of public transport on the following days:

  • Thursday December 1st (Abellio and Metroline)
  • Friday December 2nd (Abellio and Metroline)
  • Saturday 3 December (Abellio and Metroline)
  • Thursday 8 December (Abellio)
  • Friday 9 December (Abellio and Metroline)
  • Saturday, December 10 (Metroline)
  • Thursday, December 15 (Abellio)
  • Friday, December 16 (Abellio and Metroline)
  • Saturday 17 December (Metroline)

Dozens of buses in London will be affected by strikes, mainly in the north, north-west, west and south of the capital.

The full list of affected buses can be found here on the Transport for London (TfL) website.

NHS nurse on strike

Pat Cullen, Head of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN)

RCN boss Pat Cullen was pictured leaving the Department of Health at the end of November – to avert strikes (Image: PA)

Nursing workers from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) union begin strike action Thursday 15 December and Tuesday, December 20th.

The dispute involves nurses’ pay, as well as concerns about patient safety – as the RCN says, “patient care is being compromised due to understaffing”.

Strikes will take place across England, Wales and Northern Ireland (not in Scotland as is the case with the RCN currently back at the negotiating table with the Scottish Government).

RCN Secretary General Pat Cullen said: “Ministers have had more than two weeks since we confirmed that our members felt such injustice that they were going on strike for the first time.

“My offer of formal negotiations was rejected and ministers have opted for a strike instead. You have the power and the means to stop this by starting serious conversations that address our dispute.

“Nursing staff are fed up with being taken for granted, fed up with low pay and insecure staffing levels, fed up with not giving our patients the care they deserve.”

However, not all employees with a labor dispute mandate will leave yet.

RCN adds: “Not all members of employers with strike mandates will be called to strike on those first two dates… Phase one may just be the start of a longer strike phase.”

Postal strikes at the Royal Mail

Royal Mail logo

The CWU and Royal Mail are currently in a dispute that has yet to be resolved with a deal (Picture: Getty)

The postal strikes are expected to last until December as the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) remains at odds with Royal Mail.

The dispute concerns pay and the Pathway To Change agreement, which covers the workers’ working conditions.

Strikes are scheduled to take place on the following dates:

  • Thursday December 1st
  • Friday December 9th
  • Sunday December 11th
  • Wednesday 14.12
  • Thursday 15.12
  • Friday, 12/23
  • Saturday, December 24th

People are facing delays in their mail and deliveries during the industrial action.

With strikes planned for December 23rd and Christmas Eve, it’s probably wise to think about mailing cards or sorting through anything that needs to be posted on time.

Ahead of the November strikes, Royal Mail warned customers on its website: “[We have] well-developed contingency plans, but we cannot fully replace the daily efforts of our frontline workers.

“We will do everything we can to keep services running, but we are sorry that this planned strike action is likely to cause disruption.”

college strikes

Strathclyde University sign

University of Strathclyde staff have two more strike dates planned, Unite’s website says (Image: Getty)

Throughout November 2022, strikes took place at some universities across the country.

However, there are still promotions for a small number. For example, Unite members are due at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland attacks December 7th and 15th.

Strike action at certain colleges, including Darlington College (December 6th, 7th and 12th) and Furness College (December 6th, 7th and 15th)is also being planned by members of the University and College Union (UCU).

It almost goes without saying that – in all of the above industrial action – plans can be changed or strikes called off if negotiations are successful and an agreement is reached.

If you are unsure if there is still a strike going on check the RMT or National Rail, Transport for London, RCN, CWU or Royal Mail or Unite or UCU websites for the latest updates.

MORE: Are strikes ‘timed to maximize grief’ or employees’ last chance to save jobs?

MORE: NHS is giving away £2,500 a shift to agency nurses in a bid to halt staffing crisis

MORE: Soldiers may have to drive ambulances as paramedics join striking nurses

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/11/30/strikes-december-2022-what-action-is-planned-around-christmas-17844809/ Strikes December 2022: What action is planned around Christmas?

Justin Scacco

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