Strikes will continue in 2023 unless government is prepared for “serious and sensible” pay discussions

Mr Nowak takes up his position next month
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The new general secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has said strikes will continue into 2023 unless the government enters into “serious and sensible” pay discussions with unions. The words come as the UK approaches the end of a year dominated by industrial action.

In the past month, ambulance workers, postal workers, train drivers, train staff and border control officers have all taken part in some form of industrial action. With five days of strike action by railway unions set for the first week of January, the industrial action looks set to continue for the foreseeable.

Talking to Sky News, Paul Nowak said that unions will talk to each other about coordinating strike action in the new year. This may result in unions striking on the same day throughout 2023.

He said: "Our unions will be continuing to talk in the new year about how we best support and coordinate unions taking that strike action. In some cases, that might mean unions taking strike action on the same day and in other cases it will be a rolling wave of industrial action."

Earlier this month, TUC analysis revealed that 2022 was the worst year for real wage growth in almost half a century. The analysis found that working people lost, on average, £76 a month in 2022 as a result of their pay not keeping pace with inflation.

EMBARGOED TO 0001 THURSDAY DECEMBER 29

New TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak at TUC Congress House in London. He officially takes up the post in January from Frances O'Grady. Picture date: Wednesday December 21, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story INDUSTRY TUC. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireEMBARGOED TO 0001 THURSDAY DECEMBER 29

New TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak at TUC Congress House in London. He officially takes up the post in January from Frances O'Grady. Picture date: Wednesday December 21, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story INDUSTRY TUC. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
EMBARGOED TO 0001 THURSDAY DECEMBER 29 New TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak at TUC Congress House in London. He officially takes up the post in January from Frances O'Grady. Picture date: Wednesday December 21, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story INDUSTRY TUC. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The analysis of official statistics reveals that real wages (that is, wages after the cost of living has been taken into account) have slumped by three per cent over the course of 2022. This is the sharpest fall in real wages since 1977 and the second worst on record since 1945.