U.K. organizations are counting the cost following one of British history’s most damaging weeks of industrial protest. As railway workers, nurses, and postal staff all went on strike less than a fortnight before Christmas Day, businesses – particularly small- and medium-sized enterprizes (SMEs) – are feeling the chill of the “winter of discontent.”
The mass walkouts were estimated to cost the London economy alone almost £2 billion ($2.4 billion) in lost sales over the festive period. Industrial action happening throughout the Christmas season could work against the unions. As former Labour cabinet member David Blunkett said, protesting throughout the Christmas season was “mean and spiteful.”
Stephanie Milledge, senior people manager at London-based branding and marketing agency Brandwidth, argued that the strikes were cynically timed. “As the casualty list of affected businesses and the knock-off effects [of the industrial action] grow, public sentiment and support may change,” she said.
What are businesses – especially SMEs – doing to mitigate the ongoing industrial action?
The full version of this article was first published on DigiDay’s future-of-work platform, WorkLife, in December 2022 – to read the complete piece, please click HERE.