Rishi Sunak not ruling out ‘tough laws’ to ban NHS strikes
As NHS workers prepare to take part in industrial action over pay, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is not ruling out extending “tough” new anti-strike laws to prevent walkouts.
Industrial action chaos will sweep across Wales during the festive period with Royal Mail, Rail, DVSA, and NHS staff all set to strike.
Legislation to ensure minimum service levels on the transport network during industrial action could be widened to other public services including emergency services.
The Welsh Government health and social services minister, Eluned Morgan said she is “saddened” by the prospect of NHS industrial action but without investment from Westminster the pay offer could not be increased.
Ms Morgan told Plenary: “There is simply no money to increase our pay offer without substantial cuts to staffing and essential services.”
Rishi Sunak appeared to rule out meeting union demands for pay rises for public sector workers to head off strikes before the end of the year.
The Prime Minister said “we’re looking at all options” but declined to give any details of timings or how measures will work.
Thousands of soldiers have been preparing to cover for ambulance crews, border staff and other striking workers, prompting complaints from the military that they were being forced to give up Christmas.
Speaking during a visit to an RAF base in Lincolnshire, the Prime Minister said: “I’m not going to get into details now, we’re looking at all options.
“My priority is to always be reasonable – and that’s what we’re going to continue to do – but also to make sure we protect lives and minimise the disruption to people’s lives.”
The Prime Minister said the nation should be grateful to army personnel for easing some of the strain.
A No 10 spokesman told reporters outside Downing Street: “I’m not in a position today to set out any details that we’re still working on.
“The minimum service legislation is in Parliament. It’s for the Leader of the House to set out the timeline for that to progress through Parliament.”
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the Government wants to avoid agreeing to the pay demand of striking workers as it will risk locking in high inflation across the UK economy.
The Chancellor said: “If we make the wrong choices now, we won’t have that 3.7% of inflation in January or February of 2024 and this will change from being a one-off problem, to being a permanent problem, which will be the worst possible thing for people working in public services.
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Yes … after telling everyone to bang their trotters together to thank the NHS for risking their lives to save us during Covid, NOW the Tories want to punish the NHS for wanting enough money to live on and to reflect the skill and difficulty of their jobs. disUK 2022 is like the collapse of Rome. The desperate death throes of a stagnant, isolated and racist empire, overwhelmed by its own atrophied ideologies. When Rome collapsed it devolved into independent states. BRING IT ON! But for crying out loud, what comes next needs to value its health services and other… Read more »
Spoilt Brat given top job again ! New laws against workers on one hand and a bonfire of rules for business and the city on the other…
‘Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law’ that was the ‘catch phrase’ for an earlier bunch of Libertarians lead by Aleister Crowley whose many followers hailed from the same base as those pulling Sunak and Hunt’s strings…
Satanists all! Devils Spawn from both the Aristocracy and Hell’s Lodge of the City Mafia…
I am not really a unionist but what else are people to do in order to get a decent payrise? Tough new laws against Unions (already decimated by past laws) will just cause people to resort to other action and when people are trapped with no way to demonstrate their anger and demands things could get ugly. Instead of ‘getting tough’ the government should be negotiating.
The UK Tory regime is in the desperate death throes of a stagnant, isolated and racist empire, overwhelmed by its own atrophied ideologies.
The only way to proceed to a consensus democracy.
Wales, Scotland, England and Ireland are separate countries and must be independent nations. We could form an union of independent states, but why invent something that has already been invented – The European Union is the best and only union.