Since May 2022, workers in the United Kingdom (UK) have protested loudly against meagre wages, poor working conditions and non-existent job security through striking. Learn why Uk workers from various sectors are aggrieved and how you can achieve financial independence amidst the hullabaloo.
Why is Everyone Striking?
If you’ve been following the news, you must have seen the numerous protests and strikes plaguing the UK economy. From healthcare workers to civil servants to school teachers to train and bus drivers, the industrial sector has demonstrated their displeasure with the UK government , citing underpayment and poor working conditions amid heightened inflation and soaring energy prices.
Workers are lamenting the soaring rate of inflation which has outcompeted payment scales. Many of these workers expressed that they are not given fair wages to counter rising economic costs and employees are doing the bare minimum to ensure their well-being. Let’s take a deep dive and explore the top reasons why everyone is striking in the UK.
Most workers in the UK took to the streets to demand better wages as they outcried poor payment scales. They explained that they are compensated poorly for their hard work and have to live from hand to mouth.
Workers in the retail and hospitality industry are the most affected by poor wages. To add salt to injury, most of these workers confront poor working conditions, work long hours and have zero to no job security. As such, it is challenging to map out a promising future and achieve financial freedom.
The cost of living in the UK has quadrupled in recent times, no thanks to inflation, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and energy shortage stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. There is also a chip shortage and supply chain crisis. While no one is immune to rising prices, low to middle-income households get the shorter end of the stick.
Households in the UK are struggling to make ends meet and survive the economic crisis. It doesn’t help that most of these households earn low wages that cannot defeat the impact of inflation and the rising cost of living. This is one of the reasons why workers from all over the UK are striking and protesting.
Poor Working Conditions
Every worker wants to work in an environment that enables productivity and encourages a healthy work-life balance. However, the striking workers bemoan poor working conditions stating that their employers have demonstrated little to improve their well-being in the workplace. Issues like workplace safety, mental health support and access to training and development are top of the list.
Because workers feel and believe that their employers do not have their best interests at heart, they have taken to the streets to demand change. They have temporarily abandoned duties and submitted their demands, hoping employers will get the message and act accordingly.
How to Achieve Financial Stability Amid the Crisis
Plagued by economic crises and industrial actions, it might seem challenging to achieve individual financial stability. However, there are steps you can take to broaden your earning capacity and live a financially fulfilling life.
As a worker in the UK, there is no time now to improve your financial outlook. You can do this by budgeting, saving, and maximising your income and skills.
When it comes to achieving financial independence, budgeting is the first line of action. A detailed budget will help you track your spending pattern so that you can identify areas where there is overspending and cut back. You may be compelled to eat out less often and minimise your entertainment budget or luxury travel. By pinpointing areas where you are spending more money than you should, you can redirect the excess money to your savings or debt fulfilment.
Building a Healthy Savings Account
While budgeting is the most crucial step to financial independence, it is equally important to have a solid savings account. With a healthy savings account, you can rely on a safety net against unforeseen expenses and achieve long-term financial goals.
You can save towards your dreams including a dream house, car and the like. If you are struggling to save money, you can explore automated savings by creating a direct deposit from your paycheck to your savings account.
Maximising Skills and Education
Career progression begins with skill and education development. The corporate and non-corporate industry value and prioritise skills and quality education. People with better skills and education are found at the top of the ladder while those with inferior qualifications are at the bottom.
This is common knowledge and you should capitalise on it. Take courses to broaden your expertise or participate in training programs. You can also take on additional degrees and certifications so you can shine brighter in the competitive job market.
Finally, it is essential to find ways to amplify your income. Having multiple income streams is one of the fastest ways to achieve financial independence. Get a side hustle alongside your corporate career to augment your income. For instance, you can be a school teacher by the week and a home service professional by the weekend.
Optionally, you can seek means to earn a higher wage within your work industry. For example, you can negotiate a pay raise with your employer by offering a valuable skill or you can apply for higher-paying job opportunities that complement your skills and qualifications.
In a Nutshell
UK workers are striking and protesting for several reasons including low wages and poor working conditions. The UK economy is battling soaring inflation rates, energy crises and other components that have contributed to rising living costs. Industrial workers earning low pay are struggling to survive the economic impact caused by rising costs. As such, they have temporarily suspended work-related activities, demanding reasonable action from the Government and their employers.
Workers struggling to achieve financial independence due to the current situation in the UK can turn things around to improve their circumstances. They can actualise financial stability by embracing healthy budgeting, practising good saving habits and maximising their income and skills.
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