Ambulance employee who could not get to emergency for 3 hours says they have to strike
“A 93-year-old woman had had a fall during a strike,” he remembers. “I apologised for how long it had taken us to get to her – because we are always sorry that people aren’t getting the response they need. She replied: ‘Keep going. Because when you win, we win’.”
On Saturday Simon, 51, who now works as a Clinical Team Mentor Paramedic within the West Midlands, will deal with a once-in-a-generation ‘Special Congress’ on the TUC’s headquarters in London. Alongside him might be representatives from commerce unions whose members stand to lose the appropriate to strike underneath undemocratic new legal guidelines.
The final particular Congress came about over 40 years in the past in 1982 – again then, to battle Margaret Thatcher’s anti-union laws. Now, the TUC says the union motion – and the nation – is as soon as once more in “exceptional circumstances” – given the “unprecedented attack on the right to strike”.
The authorities has mentioned it is going to herald “minimum service levels” in rail, the ambulance service and border safety. Ministers are additionally consulting on guidelines affecting additional employees in hospitals, faculties, universities and hearth companies. The TUC says these legal guidelines imply that when employees lawfully vote to strike, they could possibly be compelled to attend work – and sacked in the event that they don’t comply. The modifications might see one in 5 employees in Britain – or 5.5 million individuals – lose the appropriate to strike, in response to TUC analysis.
Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)
“On Saturday, unions will be discussing how we take on these spiteful new laws,” says Paul Nowak, TUC General Secretary. “These new Conservative anti- strike laws are unworkable, undemocratic and likely in breach of international law. They represent an unprecedented attack on the right to strike – and they’ll poison industrial relations and drag out disputes. Labour gets this. That’s why they have done the right thing and promised to repeal this nasty legislation at the earliest opportunity. And it’s why employers, politicians and civil society groups are queuing up to oppose this legislation. The UK already has some of the most restrictive trade union laws in Europe. Now the Tories want to make it even harder for people to win fair pay and conditions.”
Simon, a member of the GMB union, finds the thought of ‘Minimum Service Levels’ (MSLs) bitterly ironic given ambulance and A&E ready occasions.
“At the moment we can’t offer Minimum Service Levels,” he says. “We’d love to be able to, but we can’t. Just this week we responded to a Category 2 call –the response time for that should be 18 minutes but we were three hours. I’d like to ask this government – where are the minimum service levels for the four million children living in poverty in the UK? Where is the minimum service level for patients and for those of us working in the NHS? That’s what the strikes are about.”
Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have made it clear a Labour authorities would reverse the anti-strike laws – setting a transparent dividing line between their get together and the Conservatives on employees’ rights. “You can’t legislate your way out of 13 years of failure,” Starmer has mentioned of the brand new legislation. “Will we repeal it? Yes, we will.”
Michelle Codrington-Rogers, 45, a member of NASUWT, teaches at a big secondary faculty in Oxfordshire. “I teach Citizenship so I’m having to talk to children about a government that’s trying to abolish the right to strike,” she says. “Teachers never want to strike. When we do, the first thing we do is look at the lessons we’ll miss and think of the children. Industrial action is just one part of trying to protect the children we teach.”
Jeff, who can’t be named due to his frontline job within the Border Control Force, says his union, PCS, lately surveyed 190,000 members. “Over 40,000 were in receipt of in-work benefits,” he says. “Ironically, some of those are working for the DWP administering benefits and they need them to survive themselves.” Dawn Stewart, 51, is a prepare driver working for Thameslink in mid-Beds. She says minimal service ranges for the rail sector will imply working a 40 per cent service.
“For us to do that, we need 60-70% of staff to be working,” she says. “That means you’re restricting the right to strike of almost three-quarters of your workforce.
“How do you decide who works? It will create so much division. How will we cope safely with overcrowding on minimal services? You have to redo timetables, and services have to fit and cross over with other services. It just isn’t workable in our sector. The Rail Delivery Group and the companies don’t want it either, so the government isn’t listening to the industry at all.”
Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)
The authorities claims the brand new legal guidelines “will not prevent a union from organising industrial action,” and can defend public security. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has mentioned the “right to strike has to be balanced with the right of the British public to be able to go about their lives without suffering completely undue disruption.”
For Dawn Stewart the amount of strikes going through the federal government isn’t a purpose for brand spanking new laws, however exhibits how a lot the nation is struggling. “The fact there are so many workers, from so many sectors, having to strike tells you that it’s the government at fault, not the workers,” she says.