Union News 19 December 2022

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Trade Union News. Here’s a round up of the latest trade union and labour related news from around the UK. In this programme: Amazon workers to strike, Unions warn against using troops to break strikes, Disabled Scots hit hard in cost-of-living crisis and strike dates announced by ambulance workers.

Amazon workers to strike

The workers at Amazon’s Coventry warehouse in the UK have voted to go on strike after a derisory hourly pay offer of just 50 pence.
98% of staff voted in favor of the strike, which is likely to take place next year.
The workers are represented by the GMB union.
Amazon has been accused of union-busting activities on both sides of the Atlantic.

Unions warn against using troops

Unions and campaigners warn that using troops to break national strikes endangers NHS patients and threatens civilian democracy.
The Royal College of Nursing, Unite, GMB, and others slam proposals to deploy 1,200 “insufficiently trained” military personnel to cover for striking nurses, ambulance staff and Border Force officials.
Thousands of RCN members are set to follow up last Thursday’s walkout with a further 24-hour strike tomorrow.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has responded by claiming inflation-matching salary packages are “unaffordable” and threating to further curb the right to withdraw labour.
Health Secretary Steve Barclay claimed yesterday that his “number one priority is keeping patients safe,” but Unite accused the government of “hollowing out” the NHS and blasted plans to rely on troops as a “desperate measure.”

Disabled Scots hit hard in cost-of-living crisis

Disabled people in Scotland are facing a hidden cost-of-living crisis due to bills associated with their health condition, a charity warned today.
Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is urging disabled people or their carers to seek advice on energy bills and other household costs amid the costs crisis they face.
A YouGov survey of 1,002 adults in Scotland found 37 per cent are in households where someone has a disability or long-term health condition.
•The charity’s analysis of the poll found 31 per cent of adults in such households need to keep their homes at a certain temperature, 15 per cent have to cook specific meals and 8 per cent must run medical equipment, incurring higher costs.

Strike dates announced for ambulance workers

The GMB union has announced strike dates for more than 10,000 ambulance workers across nine trusts in England and Wales on Wednesday 21 and Wednesday 28 December. Action will involve paramedics, emergency care assistants, call handlers and other staff. Unison union members working as part of A&E road crews in five ambulance trusts in England will strike on Wednesday 21 December.

More than 1,600 workers in the Unite union at three trusts in England are scheduled to strike on 21 December.

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Episode Notes

Our music is provided by Tim Bragg. Tim is a multi-instrumentalist & singer-songwriter. You can hear his songs here: – or any streaming service or on YouTube.

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Ambulance picture credit: Florian, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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