UK ambulance workers walk out, joining wave of strike action

London: Around 25,000 UK ambulance workers went on strike walking out for the second time since December in an ongoing dispute with the government over pay.

The industrial action by paramedics, drivers and call handlers was the latest in a wave of strikes in recent months that has crippled the country’s rail network on some days and strained the UK’s overburdened public health system. Health officials have warned that the impact of the strike will be worse than the one held in December because more staff, including call handlers, are walking out.

People were advised to call in cases of life-threatening emergencies — such as cardiac arrest or a serious road accident — and ambulances will still respond to such situations.

Scores of other workers, including nurses, train and bus drivers and postal workers, have in recent months joined a wave of strikes — the biggest in decades in Britain — to demand better salaries as inflation soars to the highest levels the UK has seen since the early 1980s. Inflation rose to 11.1% in October, before coming down slightly to 10.7% in November.

Wages, especially in the public sector, have not kept pace with the skyrocketing cost of living. The strike action comes at a time of severe strain for the UK’s National Health Service, which has reported record demand on urgent and emergency care services this winter. (Indian Express)

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