Yorkshire Ambulance service workers have voted to strike on the fifth and sixth of July - the weekend of the Tour De France. Four hundred members of the Unite union are embroiled in a long-running dispute over new working conditions and meal breaks.
The union says it has very real concerns about patient and staff safety and has denied that taking industrial action next weekend is a cynical ploy.
Yorkshire Ambulance Service say they are disappointed at the decision by staff belonging to the Unite union to strike on the weekend of the Tour de France.
We are disappointed with the Unite the Union ballot result and the continued threat of industrial action. There is no mandate for strike action with less than 50% turnout from Unite members; only 177 people participated in the vote from our total workforce of over 4,600 staff. Strike action is certainly not in the best interests of our patients and we are disappointed that Unite continues to put patients at risk.
We would like to reassure members of the public that Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is committed to minimising the level of disruption to its services during any periods of industrial action and we have robust contingency plans in place to ensure we continue to provide responsive, effective and safe services for our patients.
– David Whiting, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Staff from Yorkshire Ambulance Service have voted to strike on the weekend of the Grand Départ leg of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.
The union UNITE balloted members over the action which is the latest in a long running dispute over patient and staff safety issues.
Unite members working at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust voted by 84 per cent to strike between 06:00 and 23:59 on Saturday 5 July and on Sunday 6 July, starting at 18:00 and ending at 22:00.
The 400 members of the union represent less than ten per cent of the Trust's full staff.
Bosses at the Ambulance Service withdrew recognition from Unite as a union representing staff as a result of the continuing dispute.
Unite say staff are concerned about the introduction of elongated shift patterns. The union claim it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed as a result of staff exhaustion.