Strikes disrupting swathes of the British economy look likely to intensify this week, with teachers ready to announce industrial action, according to the Sunday Times, and nurses warning their strikes could double in size next month.

Iran PressEurope: A wave of further teaching, ambulance, and civil service strikes is likely to move forward this week as nurses are set for their second major period of industrial action.

While ministers signaled a new deal may be close with the rail unions, strikes looked set to escalate in other sectors as ministers geared up to introduce controversial new anti-strike legislation to the House of Commons on Monday.

Nurses from the Royal College of Nursing will strike on Wednesday and Thursday, with the union warning that more members in England will take action the next time in early February if there is no breakthrough by the end of the month.

The RCN general secretary, Pat Cullen, described the prime minister’s position in their negotiation deadlock as “baffling, reckless, and politically ill-considered”. Sources in the Department of Health said no talks were currently scheduled but they were still hoping for more meetings after discussions broke down bitterly last week.

Meanwhile, the National Education Union (NEU) and school leaders’ union NAHT are expected to announce the result of ballots for strikes over pay on Monday.

Also in the teaching sector, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) will stage a strike for 16 consecutive days until 2 February, which will see members in two local authorities strike each day. London bus workers at Abellio are going on strike on Monday and Wednesday.

Industrial tensions have also been inflamed by the government’s proposed anti-strike bill, which will have its first reading in the House of Commons on Monday.

The TUC, the coordinating body for trade unions, accused the government of being “spiteful” with the legislation and attempting to “steamroller” through new draconian new measures without proper consultation or scrutiny.

The organization said that it would mean that when workers vote to strike in health, education, fire, transport, border security and nuclear decommissioning, they can be forced to work and sacked if they don’t comply.


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