Unite press release

For immediate release: Monday 23 January 2023

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham says the Prime Minister is missing in action

Union leaders will be there any time, any place, anywhere, to do this deal.

Speaking from the Ambulance strike picket line in Chorley today, Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said:  “The Prime Minister is missing in action.

“It’s been five weeks since Unite ambulance service members last went on strike. We haven’t had a single offer from the Government, there hasn’t been one meeting.

“Today I’m calling for Rishi Sunak to come out of hiding, to do his job as the leader of this country and start negotiating.”

 “Steven Barclay hasn’t got the authority, it would seem. Rishi Sunak is the CEO of this employer. He needs to come to the table. Let’s do a deal and get these people back to work.”

Looking forward to the strikes on 6 February, Sharon Graham said: “6 February is going to be an important day, but it’s a day that I hope doesn’t happen.

“There’s many days between now and February 6, and I hope the Government comes to its senses and gets the union general secretaries around the table. We will be there any time, any place, anywhere, to do this deal.

“I really hope that February 6 doesn’t go ahead because the Government puts an offer on the table. If Ministers don’t the strikes will go ahead.”

The Unite industrial action is affecting ambulance trusts in the West Midlands and the North West. Ambulance workers in Wales are also on strike.

Last week Unite announced 10 fresh strike dates as ambulance dispute escalates. (see notes to editors)

Unite has reached agreements with the local ambulance trusts to ensure life and limb emergency cover. Unite has and will continue to ensure this life and limb cover is provided during the strike. Meanwhile, the government fails to provide minimum standards across the NHS on a daily basis.


Notes to editors:

Current details of when Unite members employed by different ambulance trusts workers will be striking:

West Midlands: 6 and 17 February and 6 and 20 March

North East: 6 and 20 February and 6 and 20 March

East Midlands: 6 and 20 February and 6 and 20 March

Wales: 6 and 20 February and 6 and 20 March

North West: 6 and 22 February 6 and 20 March

Northern Ireland: 26 January and 16, 17, 23 and 24 February

The industrial action in Northern Ireland involves over 4,000 workers employed across the health and social care sector including ambulance workers.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315 or email: [email protected]

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org 

Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending an improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.