Sunak set for major crackdown on striking workers

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Rishi Sunak is preparing a crackdown on striking workers, as the UK braces for a winter of discontent. The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said the Government is preparing legislation to “ensure the Government has the power to keep the country moving”. The official said the plans would “go beyond” previously floated legislation, which was focussed on maintaining minimum service levels in key industries. 

Mr Sunak’s spokesperson refused to deny that the legislation would involve banning strikes from ambulance workers. 

He said they are considering “all ways of curbing disruption, including legislation”. 

However, the Government admitted that the new powers will not help mitigate the upcoming disruption. 

This comes as the country is set to be rocked by nationwide strikes across transport, the civil service, Royal Mail and the NHS. 

Strike action at ambulance trusts is scheduled to take place on December 21 and 28 in what will be the largest coordinated industrial action from ambulance trusts for 30 years.

The action is a coordinated walkout planned by the three main ambulance unions – Unison, GMB and Unite.

While unions have said that “life and limb” cover will be provided during any industrial action, they are yet to clarify exactly what this will entail.

Nurses’ strikes are scheduled to take place in the leadup to Christmas on December 15 and December 20, with up to 100,000 nurses set to join the walkouts.

As many as 200,000 health workers are currently thought to be backing industrial action.

Meanwhile, the Rail and Maritime Union last week announced a series of 48-hour strikes in December and January after negotiations with the industry failed to reach an improved settlement.

More than 40,000 members across Network Rail and 14 train operating companies will take strike action on December 13th, 14th, 16th and 17th and on January 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th.

The union also announced a ban on overtime from December 18th until January 2nd, meaning its members will be taking industrial action for 4 weeks.

The RMT alleged that the Government is “directly interfering with our attempts to reach a settlement”.

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