In Britain, the chairman of the governing Conservative Party is looking at bringing in the military to help keep public services running if key workers take strike action.
“Our message to the unions is to say ‘this is not a time to strike, this is a time to try and negotiate.’ But in the absence of that, it is important for the government... to have contingency plans in place,” Nadhim Zahawi was quoted as saying on Sunday.
“We’re looking at the military, we’re looking at a specialist response force... a surge capacity,” he said, adding that the military could be brought in to drive ambulances.
Britain is embroiled in a cost-of-living crisis. Various labor unions are preparing for similar protest actions ahead of Christmas.
Numerous public and private-sector staff, from lawyers to airport ground personnel, has held strikes this year as the country faces its highest inflation and worst cost-of-living crisis in generations.
The UK government recently rejected workers' requests for better pay, after ambulance workers and the state-run National Health Service joined nurses in voting to go on strike. The government has repeatedly called on workers to halt strike action, saying it could not afford pay rises to cover inflation and that, even if it could meet their demands, such increases would further fuel inflation.
The government has warned of a challenging winter if services stopped working. It has also drawn up plans to use more of its soldiers to cover for firefighters and other workers.
Experts say the cost-of-living crisis has engulfed the entire Europe, with workers going on strike every now and then across the continent, disrupting both local and international schedules, particularly during holidays. They link the soaring living costs in Europe, in particular, and partially in the entire world, in general, to COVID-19 and the Ukraine war.