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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Christmas of Chaos | Roads ‘could come to a standstill’ as National Highways workers go on strike



  • The action will coincide with planned strikes by RMT members on the railways.

Union members working on England’s roads have announced 12 days of strike action over Christmas and the new year.


Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) at National Highways, who plan, design, build, operate and maintain the country’s roads, will take part in a series of staggered strikes from December 16 to January 7.


The union said the action risks bringing roads to a standstill.


"We know our members’ action could inconvenience travellers who plan to visit their relatives over the festive period, but our members have been placed in this situation by a government that won’t listen to its own workforce"

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka


The action will coincide with planned strikes by RMT members on the railways.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We know our members’ action could inconvenience travellers who plan to visit their relatives over the festive period, but our members have been placed in this situation by a government that won’t listen to its own workforce.


“With the serious cost-of-living crisis, they deserve to be paid properly for the important work they do, keeping our roads running safe and free.


“The Government is in the driving seat here – it’s in a position to stop these strikes by putting money on the table.”


The walkouts could mean that speed limits are reduced to 60mph across the strategic road network in what amounts to a cocktail of chaos according to the Telegraph newspaper.


Separately, Unite announced that 350 baggage handlers employed by private contractor Menzies at Heathrow airport are to stage a 72-hour walkout next weekend.


General secretary Sharon Graham said flight disruption could result by the dispute over a real-terms pay cut for its members.


“This is a highly lucrative company, which has made a fair pay offer to one group of its workers but isn’t prepared to make a similar offer to its ground handlers,” she said.


A Heathrow spokesman said: “We are aware of industrial action proposed by Menzies colleagues from 16-18 December.



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