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Future of British Business

Strikes Gather Momentum in Britain’s Summer of Discontent

Criminal lawyers protest outside the Old Bailey courts in central London, in June.
Criminal lawyers protest outside the Old Bailey courts in central London, in June.Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

From nurses to barristers, dockers to posties, workers across Britain’s industries and professions are ramping up plans to strike.

The prospect of a so-called summer of discontent -- a nod to 1978’s “winter of discontent” when uncollected rubbish piled up in the streets and bodies went unburied -- has loomed since UK inflation rose sharply earlier this year. With the Bank of England predicting price rises of 13%, momentum is building.