*Resistance Kicks Off.. *DontPayUK!.. *Enough is Enough!.. *StrikeMapUK!..

Driver walkout halts trains as UK summer strike wave spreads

More public- and private-sector unions are planning strikes as Britain faces its worst cost-of-living crisis in decades. Postal workers, lawyers, British Telecom staff, dock workers and garbage …

Tens of thousands of UK workers strike as inflation crushes wages

18 Aug 202218 from al jazeera.com/news shared with thanks

Rail, mail and dock workers are launching strikes in vast numbers as UK inflation erodes the value of their wages.

A No Entry belt barrier blocks access to a platform at King's Cross railway station in London
A No Entry belt barrier blocks access to a platform at King’s Cross railway station in London [File: Carlos Jasso/AFP]

Britain’s rail, mail and dock workers are launching strikes in vast numbers as 40-year-high inflation erodes the value of wages at a record pace

Britain’s train network faces further heavy disruption on Thursday and Saturday in major walkouts that follow the sector’s biggest strike action for 30 years already this summer.

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Tens of thousands of staff are expected to strike over the two days, leaving a skeleton train service that will hit holiday-makers and commuters.

London’s Underground railway, commonly known as the Tube, will be hit by a strike on Saturday, ahead of an eight-day stoppage starting on Sunday by dockers at Felixstowe, Britain’s largest freight port, located in eastern England.

“We will continue to do whatever is necessary to defend jobs, pay and conditions during this cost-of-living crisis,” Sharon Graham, head of major British union Unite, said this week.

Official data on Wednesday showed UK inflation at a 40-year high above 10 percent, as soaring food and energy prices hurt millions of Britons.

Inflation to keep rising

And the situation is set to worsen under a new prime minister, as under-fire Boris Johnson prepares to step down.

The Bank of England has forecast inflation to top 13 percent this year, tipping the British economy into a deep and long-lasting recession.

“This record fall in real wages demonstrates the vital need for unions like Unite to defend the value of workers’ pay,” Graham said, while hitting out at suggestions, including from Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey, that pay rises were driving inflation.

“Wages are not driving inflation,” she insisted ahead of the latest UK inflation data that showed rocketing food prices were the main factor behind July’s spike.

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Inflation has soared worldwide this year on surging energy prices, fuelled by the invasion of Ukraine by major oil and gas producer Russia.

Pay deals

Some proposed strikes planned for the British summer have been halted after unions and companies agreed pay deals at the 11th hour.

But while British Airways ground staff and plane refuellers at Heathrow airport have scrapped proposed walkouts, other sectors are holding firm.

More than 115,000 British postal workers employed by the formerly state-run Royal Mail plan a four-day strike from the end of August.

Telecoms giant BT will face its first stoppage in 35 years and walkouts have recently taken place or are soon to occur by Amazon warehouse staff, criminal lawyers and refuse collectors.

Major UK business lobby group, the CBI, this week acknowledged workers’ ongoing “struggle with rising costs like energy prices” and said employers were “doing their level best to support staff”.

It also claimed, however, that “the vast majority” of companies “can’t afford large enough pay rises to keep up with inflation”.

Regarding the partially privatised British railway sector, unions accuse Transport Secretary Grant Shapps of not helping to resolve the impasse.

Shapps is part of the Conservative government that recently amended a law to allow agency staff to help fill gaps caused by strikes, further angering the RMT railway union.

London’s transport network grinds to a halt as workers embark on strike. London’s transport network ground to a halt on Friday as train and bus workers held strikes over pay and conditions, the..

According to Unite, London’s luxury department store Harrods has informed staff that it stands ready to use agency staff in the event of strike action by its workers.

Analysts are meanwhile forecasting sector-wide stoppages to last beyond the summer as inflation keeps on rising.

It comes as teachers and health workers have hinted at possible walkouts should they not receive new pay deals deemed acceptable.

Source: News Agencies

It’s Not Clever to be Smart

https://dontpay.uk/articles/its-not-clever-to-be-smart/

Smart meters were introduced by energy suppliers and the government supposedly as a way to make life easier for consumers. Energy bills would be more accurate and cheaper, and the smart meters would be ultimately to our benefit. They would enable us to pay exactly for what energy we use, rather than relying on estimates.

Smart meters also, it was claimed, would make all our energy use more efficient as they would encourage us to monitor what we used and change our behaviour accordingly. On paper, a win-win for consumer choice and the environment.

Ofgem happily state on their website, for example, that smart meters mean suppliers can offer tariffs that could reduce our charges if we ‘use power when it is cheaper to buy it on the wholesale market’. The government’s own website talks up how smart meters empower us, putting ‘consumers in control of their energy use … with accurate information at their fingertips’. Smart Energy, an ‘independent’ organisation supporting the smart meter roll-out thinks that convenience and ease of meter readings is one of the big benefits, telling us we can ‘wave goodbye to complicated meter readings’.

Dont Pay UK – Strike on Energy Bills – Enough is Enough..reddit.com›…If enough people did it, even a day or two would hit their P&L. Unless you are on a prepaid meter there isn’t much they can do..

The reality

But the purpose of smart meters is not to do with energy efficiency or user convenience at all. A government adviser who was at the meetings with the UK government’s then Department of Trade & Industry developing the concept of smart meters told the New Scientist in 2018, the smart meter scheme was not conceived as a way to do remote meter readings or make things easier for customers.

Instead, it was seen as a way for the energy company to automatically and instantly alter the price paid by customers as demand fluctuated. This makes it more difficult for people to budget as their bills could alter without them knowing about it.

continues here/ https://dontpay.uk/articles/its-not-clever-to-be-smart/

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Don’t Pay UK: Mass civil disobedience is risky – but it could work

Author: thefreeonline

The Free is a book and a blog. Download free E/book ...”the most detailed fictional treatment of the movement from a world recognizably like our own to an anarchist society that I have read...

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