Border Force and ambulance workers are on strike today as unions announce MORE strikes on the railways and NHS
Border Force workers today joined emergency workers in the latest round of strikes after the railroad and nurses unions announced a series of crippling strikes for the next month.
The Government has warned those arriving in the UK to expect delays as Border Force officials leave from today until February 20.
The ports of Calais, Dunkirk and Dover as well as the Channel Tunnel are affected.
Meanwhile, ambulance staff are also on strike on Friday as part of a long-running dispute over pay, conditions and staffing levels.
It comes as nurses yesterday announced a new 48-hour strike to involve emergency workers, and militant rail unions and postal workers are also planning more days of strikes.
Ambulances line up outside the ambulance headquarters in Coventry, West Midlands, on Friday morning
Ambulance workers on the picket line outside the Bromsgrove Ambulance Hub, Worcestershire on Friday
Border Force Chief Operating Officer Steve Dann said: “It is disappointing for travelers that strikes could again disrupt entry into the UK. Border Force’s top priority is the security of our citizens and the borders.
“We are working with partners across the travel industry and our French colleagues to ensure we can continue to meet critical demand and support the flow of passengers and goods across our border.
“During periods of industrial action, travelers should be prepared for disruption. We encourage everyone to check the latest operator advice before travelling.”
Ambulance workers from GMB and Unite in the West Midlands are also going out today and are expected to picket lines across the region.
GMB chief organizer Stuart Richards said: “West Midlands ambulance workers are on strike over this year’s pay.
“But ministers seem to think GMB members are being fobbed off by pretending that this year’s cost of living crisis never happened.
‘You are wrong. The government could easily suspend these strikes, so why are they making NHS workers and the public suffer?
“It’s very simple – talk about pay now and make a decent offer for this year.
“Our members and the public are waiting.”
Health bosses have warned of the impact strikes could have on the NHS and targets to reduce waiting times.
The West Midlands Ambulance Service has asked people to only call 999 in “life-threatening emergencies”.
Border Force workers and PCS union members are on strike in Dover on Friday over wages, jobs, pensions and working conditions
Ambulance workers picket Friday as they strike amid a dispute over pay
Today’s strikes follow yesterday’s announcements by unions for Royal Mail workers, border guards and nurses who have announced their intention to go on strikes.
In a statement shared on social media, the service said: “Today two of our unions are on strike.
“This means we will not have the same resources available to respond to emergency calls.
“Please use NHS 111 online, pharmacist and your GP. For life-threatening emergencies, call 999; for everything else dial 111.”
The chief executive of the NHS Confederation has urged the Prime Minister to end strike action to reduce waiting lists.
It follows announcements yesterday by unions for Royal Mail workers, border guards and nurses who have declared their intention to go on strikes.
The rail, shipping and transport union said its industrial action would begin on March 16 after “employers refused to put new offers on the table”.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Railway employers are not being given a new mandate by the government to offer our members a new deal on pay, conditions and job security.
‘Therefore, our members will now take sustained and targeted industrial action in the coming months.’
The strike action will see RMT members from 14 rail operators pull out on April 16, 18, 30 and 1.
It comes as nurses announced plans to leave cancer wards and intensive care for 48 hours in a major escalation of their labor disputes.
While a new vote by members of the Communication Workers Union showed nearly 96% were in favor of further strikes unless the deadlock is broken.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is also hoping to strengthen its picket lines by increasing the amount it will pay members who lose pay as a result of strikes.
The union, which is seeking a pay rise of up to 19.7 percent, said its next strike would run for 48 hours continuously from 6am on March 1.
Previous actions only took place during the day shift for 12 hours each.
In a strike last week, the RCN agreed 5,000 exemptions at the local level through committees of NHS hospitals and RCN staff, but that process is halted for the March data.
The RCN said it was continuing talks with the NHS nationally as part of its commitment to taking care of life and limb.
It will reduce benefits to an “absolute minimum” and ask hospitals to rely on members of other unions and other clinical professions instead.
Matthew Taylor told BBC Breakfast: “This really difficult challenge of reducing waiting lists will become almost impossible as this industrial action spreads, as it does, and especially as junior doctors join the industrial action.
“The Government’s drive to reduce waiting lists, their public commitment to reducing waiting lists, is now being jeopardized by this ongoing industrial action.”
The strike will have a “significant impact” on the NHS, a union leader has said.
The General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), Pat Cullen, told BBC Breakfast: “We will not do anything that poses a further risk to our patients.
“The risk these patients feel every day because they are being denied treatment because of the vacancies in the nurse and they cannot be removed from these waiting lists.
“We are working with NHS leaders day and night but we can also see NHS leaders stepping in and writing to the Prime Minister.
“There is no doubt that there will be a significant impact and we are now urging the Prime Minister to intervene within 12 days to try and resolve this at a round table today.”
She added that she had not spoken to the health and social affairs secretary for more than a month.
Border Force personnel (who are members of the PCS Union) at the Port of Newhaven earlier this month
Unison Ambulance crew pickets outside the London Ambulance Service headquarters during a strike on February 10
Ms Cullen told BBC Breakfast there was “no communication” with Steve Barclay at that time.
She continued: “I am deeply disappointed that any moment of the day I am returning to the 320,000 nurses who took part in this vote on the strike and telling them that I have no news for them.
“That I can’t give them a result so they can go back to caring for their patients so they can get a decent wage and stay in healthcare.
“It’s really devastating for these nurses.”
Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive of NHS Providers, said news of a new 48-hour strike by members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) was “very worrying in terms of the potential impact”.
Speaking on Sky News this morning, he raised concerns the strikes will prevent progress on reducing NHS waiting times.
He said: “Clearly there will be a significant part of the care disruption, so planned surgeries – we’ve already disrupted 140,000 admissions, outpatients etc and we’re likely to see another large number at a time when the NHS is working towards that Reduce the backlog of patients awaiting care and treatment.
He added: “People should continue to participate as usual unless they hear otherwise, trusts will do everything they can to manage and mitigate the risks, disruption is likely to occur and patients should wait ‘until they hear from their hospital if this is the case, if they don’t hear anything they should normally attend.’
And former Tory Health Secretary Lord Bethell has said NHS pay disputes need to be settled “quickly”.
He said: “This needs to be sorted out quickly. It’s having a huge impact on the NHS service and on the country as a whole and I’m concerned… that the two sides have reached something of an impasse.
Asked if the impetus needed to come from Health Secretary Steve Barclay, he said: “I would like to see Steve Barclay take a step forward, not just on pay rises but also in relation to the circumstances and the nature of our work Healthcare professionals in a moment.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/celebrity/border-force-staff-and-ambulance-workers-strike-today-as-unions-announce-more-rail-and-nhs-walkouts/ Border Force and ambulance workers are on strike today as unions announce MORE strikes on the railways and NHS