DISTRICT councillors in Stroud have spoken out about why it’s right for workers to be able to withdraw their labour as nurses hold strikes across the country.

This month there are 30 days of strikes planned, backed by 11 of the UK’s biggest unions: Unite, Unison, GMB, CWU, RMT, PCS, The Royal College of Nursing and the National Education Union.

In recent weeks the country has seen strikes from Royal Mail, BT Openreach and rail workers and now nurses and teachers.

And the Community Independents, a group of former Labour councillors on Stroud District Council, have spoken about the challenges many of these people face.

They say striking is an act of last resort and there are many different reasons for it but when a strike is called there is always a good reason for it.

Councillor Trevor Hall (I, Dursley) said: “No-one willingly goes on strike – it is costly, difficult and emotionally hard on those striking. Above all, striking is a huge sacrifice that takes a lot of personal courage, determination and effort.

“There are many different reasons for the strikes we are seeing – not all are about pay but it’s a hard fact that worker’s pay has seen very little movement since 2010 and some workers, for example NHS nurses, are now earning less than they did ten years ago. Yet the cost of living keeps going up and up.

“Political talk about tightening our belts and managing our spending don’t hold water when it’s only those on the frontline that are expected to live by these rules. It is time for everyone to play their part, which means paying taxes and paying fair wages to employees.

“Meanwhile we have increasing energy costs, escalating food prices and unaffordable rents taking a bigger and bigger bite out of our weekly wages.

“Front line workers such as rail drivers and guards, posties, nurses and teachers – these hard working people took care of us all when the country was facing the pandemic, giving everything – even their lives in some cases – to keep our essential services running. Now they are asking for us to take care of them.

“It’s not always about pay though. My colleagues at Müller have been on strike over changes to their rota.”