The UK’s infamous winter of discontent in 1978/9 was characterised by labour strikes in both the public and private sector, surging inflation and fuel shortages in some instances. It is easy to see how commentators and analysts make reference to this period, however, today’s situation in the UK is much more nuanced. Today’s labour shortages reflect the carry-over from the furlough scheme and clearly Brexit has also played a role, particularly in the hospitality and logistics sector. There are well over one million employment vacancies, and we see large labour shortages right across every sector of the economy – even…
London’s Leicester Square in February 1979, during the winter of discontent, as public service workers went on strike.