Civil service strikes: National Highways action to coincide with train walkouts

Union says strikes could “bring road network to a standstill” in December while rail travel disrupted
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By Tevye Markson

02 Dec 2022

National Highways staff working on England’s roads will go on strike for 12 days over Christmas and the new year as part of a wave of cross-government industrial action by civil service union PCS.

The civil servants, who plan, design, build, operate and maintain the country’s roads, will take part in a series of staggered strikes from 16 December to 7 January.

PCS said the industrial action “risks bringing the road network to a standstill” and will coincide with planned strikes by RMT members on the railways.

The announcement comes after 124 government departments and other public bodies voted for strike action over a 10% pay rise, pensions, job security and proposed cuts to redundancy terms.

Mark Serwotka, PCS’s general secretary, 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 Highways England action is the second set of strikes announced since the ballot results were connfirmed, with the union on Tuesday announcing walkouts by driving instructors and workers at the Rural Payments Agency.

PCS said it will announce further strike dates in other departments, including the Home Office, over the next few weeks. 

National Highways has been approached for comment.

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