Some of Britain's striking workers have called off their strikes after they accepted hard-fought pay deals, prompting hopes that the summer of walkouts may finally be reaching a conclusion.
Hospitals, airports and railways have all been hit by strikes in recent weeks, including on Monday when thousands of members of the Railway, Marine and Transport union walked out, causing delays for millions of commuters.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak outlined below-inflation pay increases of between 7 per cent and 8 per cent for many public sector workers – including teachers, doctors and police officers – and said that his government would not negotiate further.
About 3.7 million working days were lost through labour disputes from June 2022 through to this year, the highest figure since 1989.
On Monday, members of the largest teaching union accepted a 6.5 per cent pay rise for teachers in England and voted to end strikes.
The National Education Union said 86 per cent of its teacher members in England who took part in an electronic ballot voted to accept the progress made in the pay dispute and call off the strike, with a 60 per cent turnout.
It comes after teacher members of the NEU staged eight days of strikes in state schools in England since February in a pay dispute.
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan described the decision as “good news” for teachers, parents and children.
“The deal brings an end to the disruption faced by parents and young people and means we can focus on what matters most, giving our children a world-class education,” Ms Keegan said in a statement.
Strike action due to start at Gatwick Airport on Friday has been called off after the final group of union members involved voted to accept an improved pay offer, it has been announced.
Unite said workers employed by Gatwick Ground Services, on the British Airways contract, followed employees at DHL Ground Handling, ASC and Menzies in cancelling industrial action after pay deals.
Strikes that were planned to last until Tuesday August 8 will now not go ahead.
GGS workers voted to accept an improved pay offer of 10.3 per cent, according to Unite.
"This is a significant pay increase for workers at GGS," said the union's general secretary, Sharon Graham.
"The pay campaign at Gatwick Airport is a great example of how Unite's unwavering commitment to jobs, pay and conditions for our members is delivering substantial financial benefits for workers."
But the union warned of further industrial action at the airport.
Unite members at Red Handling, Wilson James and DHL Gatwick Direct have all voted for strike action in disputes over pay which, if they go ahead, will cause "substantial disruption and delays" at the airport.
The Unite union has called off the walkout on Friday, August 18, due to a new pay offer.
Red Handling staff, who provide ground-handling services for airlines including Norse Atlantic, Norwegian, Delta, Tap Air Portugal and Saudia, were set to walk out from August 18-21 and August 25-28.
The first strikes were cancelled while employees considered a new pay offer, leaving it possible that the second round of inductrial action in August could still go ahead.
Planned strikes planned by London Underground workers in July and August were also suspended as workers considered deals.
Members of Aslef and the RMT were due to strike throughout the week in a long-running dispute over pay, pensions and conditions.
Both unions said progress had been made in talks at the conciliation service Acas.
“There has been significant progress made by our negotiating team in Acas talks with TfL [Transport for London],” RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said.
“However, this is not the end of the dispute nor is it a victory for the union as yet.
“Our members were prepared to engage in significant disruptive industrial action and I commend their resolve.
“RMT’s strike mandate remains live until October and we are prepared to use it if necessary.”
Britain's doctors begin longest strike in NHS history – in pictures
Junior doctor strikes due to start in Scotland in July were suspended after a new pay deal was offered by the Scottish government.
BMA Scotland said the new offer amounted to a 12.4 per cent pay increase this year, an improvement on the 14 per cent over two years previously proposed by ministers.
A three-day walkout, which was due to start on July 12, was averted to allow the union to ballot its members.
However, a strike in the NHS continues to disrupt services in England with radiographers, consultants and junior doctors planning further strikes.
Junior doctors working in the NHS this month launched the longest walkout in NHS history as they tried to secure a pay rise of more than one third.
Hospital consultants across England will begin a 48-hour strike at 7am on Thursday August 24.
Thousands of members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at 14 train operators will strike on Saturday in the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
In addition to disruption from the latest RMT strike on Saturday, train services will be affected by Network Rail carrying out about 500 projects across Britain’s railways over the long weekend.
The busiest station affected is London Euston, where services will be limited from 8pm on Saturday until Tuesday due to track renewals and signalling upgrades.
No trains will serve London Charing Cross or Waterloo East on Saturday or Sunday.
Buses and coaches will replace trains on the East Coast Main Line between Grantham, Royston and Potters Bar-Hertford North from late Saturday until the early hours of Monday.
“As always, we’ve carefully planned our engineering work to ensure the vast majority of the railway will be open for business as usual this bank holiday, so passengers can rely on the railway to get them where they need to be as they make the most of the long weekend," said Jake Kelly, Network Rail’s system operator director.
“Disruptions to journeys on some routes is unavoidable when carrying out certain pieces of work, however, so please make sure to check with National Rail Enquiries or your train operator before you travel.”