The British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) has urged shoppers to support their local high streets during the ongoing strike action, and asked for key stakeholders to settle their grievances soon.
The association, which works with over 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes across the UK, has said the ongoing strike action is damaging the economy – and has pushed for bosses to resolve the issues quickly.
The call comes as Britain faces another week of strikes, on Friday by the RMT (Royal, Maritime and Transport Union) by Network Rail and 14 train operators, while drivers in the Aslef (the UK’s Train Driving Union) will strike on Thursday. There may also be a disruption to services on Sunday, January 8.
Passengers are being warned to expect significant disruption as only a limited number of trains will run with the advice being to only travel if necessary.
Andrew Goodacre, CEO of BIRA, said: “This year has started with the continuation of the disruption caused by train strikes, and the threat of strikes in other sectors of the economy.
“I respect the right for people to strike. At the same time, I am urging the key stakeholders to find agreement in the near future. Strikes are damaging to the economy through lost productivity and they are poor for consumer confidence – all of which damages consumer spending. The high street is a challenging place for businesses at the moment and so any form of disruption can be very damaging to hardworking independent retailers. I would therefore urge people to shop locally if the strikes are forcing them to stay at home.”