You are hereBlogs / dlindorff's blog / General Strike Rocks Nation: Workers Across Britain Confront Conservative Austerity Demands

General Strike Rocks Nation: Workers Across Britain Confront Conservative Austerity Demands

By dlindorff - Posted on 01 December 2011


By Linn Washington Jr.

London -- Standing on a picket line in front of her work place at a world renowned heart-lung hospital in London wasn’t Jeanette Anderson’s first choice for how to spend her day.  

However, Anderson said protesting was her “only choice.”

Protesting as part of a UK nationwide general strike, Anderson said, was necessary to combat austerity measures from Britain’s conservative led government that now targets the pensions of public sector workers like Anderson and her picket line colleagues at the Royal Brompton Hospital in this city’s up-scale Chelsea section.

“We do not get the fat-cat pensions like the rich,” Anderson said, noting that participating in the one-day strike action wasn’t something she took lightly. 

“Public sector workers are already into a two-year pay freeze and now the government plans to extend that pay freeze for another two years.”

Anderson, her Brompton Hospital picket line colleagues and an estimated two million other public sector workers staged a one-day general strike across Britain Wednesday.

That strike – the largest labor action in Britain in 30 years – closed 62 percent of the public schools in England, Scotland and Wales in addition to shuttering many government offices (local and national) plus disrupting government services, such as forcing the postponements of some elective surgeries and other medical services.

Three miles from Anderson’s Brompton Hospital picket line over 25,000 public workers staged a rally and march that was one of over 1,000 protest actions by workers across Britain yesterday.

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron mocked the effectiveness of the general strike, citing its failure to disrupt operations at the nation’s major airports. 

The Cameron government brought strikebreakers for the airports from as far away as the Caribbean to off-set the strike action. Further, major airlines initiated programs to reschedule flights to avoid problems from the strike, particularly processing passports of arriving passengers.

Countering Cameron, Brendan Barber, head of Britain’s Trade Union Congress, termed the strike a success, saying, “There has been magnificent support” for the strike. Barber promised similar labor actions in the near future if the Cameron government continues to assault the living standards of workers.

The flash point of the strike is the British government’s demands that public sector workers make higher contributions to their pensions and work longer before retirement.

Yet, the wider context of the strike is the set of austerity measures Britain’s conservative leaders say are required to reduce massive national budget deficits...

For the rest of this article by LINN WASHINGTON, JR. in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new award-winning independent online alternative newspaper, please go to:


Speaking Events


War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Published April 5, 2016
Tour begins here:

(Invite David Swanson to your town!)


April 11, Washington, DC, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Busboys and Poets at 5th and K Streets.
Sign up on FB.


April 12, Baltimore, MD, 7:30 p.m. at Red Emma's.
Sign up on FB.



April 14, Bellingham, WA

April 15, Seattle, WA

April 16 Portland, OR




Other Events Here.


Support This Site


Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.



Speaking Truth to Empire


Families United


Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.