A walkout by UK ambulance workers threatens to paralyze the health system | Daily News Byte

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Ambulance workers in the UK went on strike on Wednesday, escalating a dispute with the government over its refusal to raise wages above inflation.

The walkout by National Health Service staff prompted healthcare administrators to issue warnings against straining an already crisis-ridden health system and angered government and trade unions over the potential loss of life.

Thousands of nurses across England, Wales and Northern Ireland took to the picket line on Tuesday, just five days after their first strike in their union’s 106-year history.

Industrial action is paralyzing Britain in the run-up to Christmas, with rail workers and passport control officials also threatening to strike over the festive period.

Trade unions have warned of further action in the new year if the government refuses to discuss pay.

But Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government insists it should stick to modest increases for public sector workers as recommended by independent pay review bodies.

“The best way to help them and to help everyone else in the country is for us to get to grips and get inflation down as quickly as possible,” the UK leader said.

Ministers have drafted in 750 military personnel to carry out ambulance driving and logistics roles to cushion the impact of Wednesday’s ambulance strike, which has affected almost all areas of England and Wales.

Despite the government’s insistence that it will not negotiate, polls suggest that most people support nurses – and to a lesser extent other workers – walking out.

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