By Ononye VC
The UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak, has brought in the military as half a million public-sector workers bring the country to a halt with coordinated strikes today. Rail workers, teachers and civil servants such as Border Force staff are staging a day of mass action in protest about pay and conditions.
Downing Street warned the public to brace for a “very difficult” day with “significant disruption” likely.
Around 600 members of the armed forces are being brought in to plug the holes caused by the disputes. Most are expected to be used in place of Border Force officials at airports.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “We know there will be significant disruption given the scale of the strike action and that it will be very difficult for the public.
“This will disrupt people’s lives and that’s why we think negotiations rather than picket lines are the right approach.”
More than 100,000 teachers are expected to go on strike in the first of seven days of action planned by the NEU in the next eight weeks. Overall, 23,000 schools will be hit with many closing while others remain partially open so they can prioritise vulnerable children.