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One in eight UK firms hit by knock-on impact from October strikes

One in eight UK firms hit by knock-on impact from October strikes

One in eight British companies suffered disruption in October from strikes which affected public transport, postal services, telecoms and other sectors, a survey showed on Thursday.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said 13% of businesses reported some kind of impact from industrial action - most commonly through being unable to access goods or services which they needed, for example because of postal strikes.

The impact was typically greatest for small businesses and those in the retail and construction sectors.

Other common causes of disruption included staff having to work from home or being unable to perform their duties, during a month when rail workers were frequently on strike.

Just 2.2% of businesses that reported disruption said this was as a result of some or all of their own workforce being directly involved in strike action. This rose to 7% for companies with 250 or more staff.

The ONS said 41% of firms with 10 or more workers reported an increase in transport costs during the month.

A third of respondents reported staff shortages, with 54% of companies in the human and health activities sector affected.

Looking ahead, a quarter of companies flagged input price inflation as a main concern and 19% noted energy prices.

Workers across Britain have staged a series of walkouts as incomes fall behind 41-year high inflation. Employees are seeking better pay and work conditions as the cost of living surges.

Nurses, teachers, cash delivery staff, driving examiners and railway and postal workers are all set to strike in December.

The Unite and GMB unions on Wednesday announced that over 10,000 ambulance workers had voted to walk out. Civil servants responsible for passport checks, borders and national highways have also backed strike action but dates are yet to be set.

The ONS conducted the survey from Nov. 14-27, asking about conditions in October, and received responses from more than 10,000 businesses.

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