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British Lawyers Go on Indefinite Strike for More Pay

British lawyers who are members of the Criminal Bar Association will go on indefinite strike from next Monday. This is likely to delay thousands of lawsuits, reports the British public broadcaster BBC. The barristers are demanding a pay rise.

The lawyers have gone on strike every other week since June. They also do not take on new cases or take over clients from overworked colleagues. In the first 19 days of the strike, between June 27 and August 5, 6,235 lawsuits were interrupted, according to the government. Now they voted with a large majority (1,808 out of 2,273 votes) for an indefinite strike.

The CBA is demanding a 25 percent pay increase for lawyers. The Ministry of Justice had tabled a proposal to raise wages by 15 percent at the end of September, but the professional association did not agree.

The proposal does not apply to cases that have already started, and it will therefore take years before the lawyers see more pay. At the end of April, the courts in England and Wales had a backlog of 58,271 cases yet to appear in court.

According to the CBA, lawyers have seen their real wages fall for years, and those low wages deter newcomers. The Ministry of Justice criticizes that victims of the strike have to wait much longer for justice.

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