U.K. Hit by Biggest Strikes in a Decade

Britain was hit by the largest strikes in a decade on Wednesday as workers from train drivers to teachers to civil servants walked off the job for the day, forcing millions of children to miss school and commuters to stay home, the Wall Street Journal reported. The strikes reflect a growing challenge to the U.K. and some European countries of how to address falling real wages for many public-sector workers without further stoking inflation or damaging public finances after years of high spending. France has also been hit by strikes in recent months, fueled by anger over wages not keeping pace with the highest inflation in decades. Few countries in Europe, however, have suffered as much labor unrest as the U.K. of late, which has included the first strikes by nurses in decades. Behind this: a toxic mix of years of falling real wages for public-sector workers, a tight labor market pushing up private-sector pay faster, and emboldened unions. Read more. (Subscription required.)