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Warning Shot | Humanity

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This figure alone gives the historical dimension of the movement. One hundred and six years after their union was formed, British nurses had not gone on strike. More than 100,000 of them will go on strike across England, Wales and Northern Ireland this Thursday and December 20. Unheard of even during the reign of the intransigent Margaret Thatcher. The unprecedented parade underscores the seriousness of the social crisis rocking the United Kingdom, where the wage question has become glaring in the face of soaring inflation. Postal workers, railway workers, airport workers… sectors, especially public sectors, are lining up one after the other. Until December 31 – at least – the country will not know a day without a strike.

The case of nurses is exemplary in more ways than one. Since 2010, their income has decreased by 20%. Some hospitals have had to open food banks to help staff… tired, underpaid, 25,000 of whom left last year. Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s response to reasonable demands for a wage freeze – the Pavlovian – response of all liberal governments: fiscal austerity, above all inflationary wage increases. Yes, same refrain “Inflation Spiral” French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire prefers to serve this part of the Channel. A very practical false nose to send the unions back on the ropes, but the IMF itself has been dismantled in a very serious study, which we understand in our pages today.

Backed by a good portion of public opinion, this position, initiated by British workers, is not a simple word. This is a warning shot to all governments intoxicated by liberal dogma. A warning that Macron would do well to sweep the question of wages under the carpet as he prepares to implement pension reform. This anger will not wait a century.

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