Ambulance workers in Wales plan more strikes

Ambulance workers will strike four more times over the next two months. The union have set out the dates as the 6th and 20th of both February and March.

Unite branch secretary Carl Jones says both the Welsh and UK governments have left ambulance workers with no choice.

“We want the politicians to sit up and listen. It’s not about one-off payments , it’s about terms and conditions. [The government] are preventing us doing our job and getting out to the people who need us.”

Protestors supporting the ambulance workers at a picket line

There are also concerns that additional strikes will only make things harder for patients trying to get to hospital. Last month ambulance wait times were the worst ever recorded, even worse than at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sarah, who didn’t want to give her full name, lost her father after he was forced to wait three hours for paramedics to arrive. She supports the strikes but thinks more people could lose loved ones if they continue.

“I know what it’s like to be a relative desperate for an ambulance. I’ll live the rest of my life with what ifs. What if an ambulance had got to my father [in time]. I fear for those families that when ambulances are on strike that they’ll have that same scenario.”

Yet Mr. Jones claims that industrial action is not to blame for the long delays and the people who have died while waiting.

“We’re losing them anyway. Our response times are poor at best. […] We aren’t taking this decision lightly we’re not proud to be in this position but we feel like we’ve got to do something to improve the situation.”

Welsh Ambulance Service say they are still yet to be formally notified of any action.