Thursday, 22 December 2011

Strike Boosts Lincolnshire Businesses

Business leaders say the strike over public sector pensions brought an unexpected and welcome boost to trade in the county, reports the Lincolnshire Echo.

Two million public sector workers walked out on strike across Britain.

More than one hundred of the three hundred and sixty-seven schools in the county were closed and three hundred county council workers (10% of the workforce) – downed tools.

Protesters took part in a small march through Lincoln city centre, culminating at the Lincoln Drill Hall.

Prime Minister David Cameron rightly branded the industrial action 'a damp squib' that failed to cripple Britain.

It turns out that the strikes had one unintended outcome; any traders here saw an upturn in business.

Mr. Simon Beardsley, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, said:
"An indirect result seems to be that last Wednesday was a better day for retailers as it has given some parents who have children off school the opportunity to go Christmas shopping, therefore a potential benefit to the economy.

"This may just be timing, in that they will buy now rather than closer to Christmas, but this is likely to be a comfort to cash flow at this time."
Mr. Beardsley said the main impact was the knock-on effects from school closures with parents taking the day off the look after children.
"It is difficult in such circumstances to place a value on the disruption as this cover may have been accommodated from existing holiday allocation and as such the impact is felt more directly by employees losing holiday allocation.

"Our major concern is if the frequency of the dispute increases and accommodation becomes more difficult, as this is when businesses are also likely to see direct impacts in terms of operating costs and lost revenue."
Mr. Barry Reeves, Chairman of Sincil Street Traders, in Lincoln, who runs the Central Snacks cafe on the market, said:
"Can we have another strike soon? By going on strike, they turned last Wednesday into a bumper day of trade. It couldn't have come at a better time."
It is likely that the boost in trade will be reflected the quarterly figures for the last three months of the year and will give the government a boost as well in January.

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