LONDON — Up to 500,000 workers from different unions went on strike Feb. 1. Some 300,000 teachers, 70,000 university lecturers, thousands of train and bus drivers and 100,000 civil servants walked out.
“It’s the biggest strike for 10 years, but it’s a first for me,” Jack O’Donnell, a primary school teacher in Coventry, told Coventry Live at a rally of hundreds in the city.
Thousands joined rallies — in London, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Newcastle and Bristol — to demand pay increases, protest deteriorating working conditions and attempts by the government to limit the right to strike.
More than 10,000 marched through the center of the city here, including members of the National Education Union, the University and College Union, the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union and the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen.
“The government’s plans to limit strikes show they fear us,” Chris Morehead, a Rail, Maritime and Transport safety rep in Manchester told participants in a rally there. “The RMT was the first to strike. They tried to isolate us, but we knew that others would strike too. We have the power to stop their attacks.”