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Government needs a plan to deal with strikes, warns former transport secretary

23 Jun Government needs a plan to deal with strikes, warns former transport secretary

JUSTINE Greening says the Government needs to urgently come up with a plan to deal with strikes and warned that workers in other sectors are set to follow the example of the rail unions.

Commenting on the current campaign of rail strikes, the former Transport Secretary said the Government must tackle a growing feeling of discontent among public sector workers.

Ms Greening told GB News: “The disruption is going to be very bad for lots of people. As we’ve seen, the Government will end up needing to have a plan because it’s not just, by the sounds of it, going to be railway workers.

“We’re seeing teachers talking about industrial action later in the year, even barristers.

“I’ve seen on social media people in the NHS saying we wish we had the chance to be able to go on strike, you know, we want a pay rise too.”

Speaking during an interview with Gloria De Piero, Ms Greening added that it looks like there will be a “bigger challenge” with strikes in the coming months.

She said: “I think there’s a broader discontentment around public sector workers and I think the Government is going to have to have a very clear strategy to deal with all of that over the coming period because I think dealing with it piecemeal, even if Grant Shapps sat down with railway workers, is not going to fix that bigger challenge.

“Let’s be honest, there are millions of people in our country right now being disrupted by the strikes, but also there are millions of people really worried about how they’re going to cope with the cost of living pressures in the months ahead.

“So fundamentally, I think the most important thing the Government can do is set out a really clear plan on how it’s going to tackle inflation because it’s inflation that is driving the demands for some of these wage rises that we’re seeing.”

Meanwhile Ms Greening, who is credited with inventing the phrase “levelling up”, said it was vital that the government follows through on its policy.

She said: “I wanted to come up with a phrase that in a sense was clear about what we were doing to achieve equality of opportunity…

“You achieve that not by taking opportunities away from people who’ve already got them but by levelling up and extending new opportunities to people who don’t and for me, that’s why the levelling up agenda really matters because it’s fundamentally about making access to opportunity far more fair in the future than it’s been in the past.”