Thousands of ambulance workers in England, Wales to strike in row concerning pay

Thousands of ambulance workers in England, Wales to strike in row concerning pay

Workers ask for above-inflation pay increases; government offer 4% pay rise

By Aysu Bicer

LONDON (AA) - More than 10,000 ambulance workers in England and Wales will strike on Dec. 21 and Dec. 28 because of pay issues, the GMB union confirmed Tuesday.

The walkouts will also involve paramedics. Control room staff, support workers, along with the military will be on standby to help out.

"Ambulance workers – like other NHS workers – are on their knees,” GMB National Secretary Rachel Harrison said in a statement that criticized the government.

"Demoralised and downtrodden, they’ve faced twelve years Conservative cuts to the service and their pay packets, fought on the frontline of a global pandemic and now face the worst cost of living crisis in a generation. Something has to change or the service as we know it will collapse."

Britain is currently experiencing a wave of industrial action, including from nurses, postal workers and university lecturers, sparked by a bitter cost-of-living crisis triggered by soaring inflation and a deteriorating economy.

Workers in ambulance services and some NHS Trusts voted to strike because of the government-imposed 4% pay rise. Employees asked for above-inflation pay rises.

The annual inflation rate in the UK jumped to 11.1% in October from 10.1% in September -- its highest since October 1981.

Meanwhile, about 40,000 staff members of the Network Rail and 14 other rail companies are expected strike Dec. 13-17.

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