THE TRADES UNION CONGRESS (TUC) will hold a national ‘protect the right to strike’ day on Wednesday 1 February. Events will take place in different parts of the country against the UK Government’s new anti-strike legislation.

Members of the public will be invited to show their support for workers taking action to defend their pay and conditions, and more information will be provided in the coming days about planned activities.

The TUC has vowed to fight the new strike curbs “every step of the way” – including through parliament and the courts. The union body says the plans are unworkable and almost certainly in breach of international law.

TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said: “The right to strike is a fundamental British liberty – but the government is attacking it in broad daylight. These draconian new curbs will tilt the balance of power even more in favour of bad bosses and make it harder for people to win better pay and conditions.

“Nobody should lose their job if they take lawful action to win a better deal. But ministers have gone from clapping our key workers to threatening them with the sack. Unions will fights these plans every step of the way – including through parliament and through the courts.

“On February the 1st will we hold events across the country against this spiteful new bill – which is unworkable and almost certainly illegal. We will call on the general public to show support for workers taking action to defend their pay and conditions, to defend our public services and to protect the fundamental right to strike.”

On the need for the government to follow the example of the private sector, Nowak added: “The government should be following the example of many employers in the private sector who have sat down with unions and agreed fair pay deals. But instead ministers are drawing up plans that will succeed only in escalating disputes and driving workers away from wanting to work in our public services.”

Analysis published by the union body shows:

  • Nurses have lost £42,000 in real earnings since 2008 – the equivalent of £3,000 a year.
  • Midwives have lost £56,000 in real earnings since 2008 – the equivalent of £4,000 a year.
  • Paramedics have lost £56,000 in real earnings since 2008 – the equivalent of £4,000 a year.

And if the government does not improve its pay offer for public servants, public sector pay will fall, on average, by over £100 a month in real terms in 2023.

* Source: Trades Union Congress