UK trade union says 100,000 public sector workers to strike on Feb. 1

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LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Britain’s Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union said on Wednesday 100,000 of its members across 124 government departments would take strike action on Feb. 1 in a dispute over pay, pensions and job security.

Britain is experiencing a wave of strikes across sectors ranging from healthcare to railways, as pay rises fail to keep pace with double-digit inflation. Thousands of ambulance workers held a second day of strikes on Wednesday, while many schools in Scotland were closed by a teacher walk out.

The PCS union has been carrying out a rolling programme of strikes across different government departments and other public sector bodies over the last month, which has included driving test examiners, border force staff and road traffic officers.

“We warned the government our dispute would escalate if they did not listen, and we’re as good as our word,” PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said.

Serwotka said he was meeting with a government minister on Thursday and the dispute could be resolved if more money was offered to its members.

The PCS also said it would next week ballot a further 33,000 members in five more departments, including HM Revenue and Customs, over whether to join the national strike action.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Michael Holden

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