The Business Secretary Grant Shapps has introduced a Bill to Parliament which will mean unions will have to agree levels of safety when members go on strike.
Shapps has warned that ambulance workers are putting “lives at risk” and the strikes “do not have the minimum safety levels.”
If the Bill is made law then some members of the trade unions will have to still work during industrial action, which the Trades Union Congress (TUC), has called “illegal” and “undemocratic.”
Shapps told MPs, “A lack of timely co-operation from the ambulance unions meant employers could not reach agreement nationally for minimum safety levels during recent strikes and health officials were left guessing at the likely minimum coverage, making contingency planning almost impossible and putting everyone’s constituents lives at risk.
“The ambulance strike plans for tomorrow still do not have minimum safety levels in place and this will result in patchy emergency care for the British people.
“And this cannot continue.”
On Wednesday the GMB union, whose ambulance worker members are going on strike, and they said this is an “extraordinary attack.”
A spokesman said, “He surely knows that across NHS trusts, GMB members who care for the public every single day, work closely with employers to provide appropriate cover on strike days and have left picket lines to help out on urgent calls.
“The public know who is to blame for the crisis in our NHS – this government. And, people will be disgusted that in a matter of months, they have gone from clapping health workers to legislating to sack them.”
Paul Nowak, TUC general secretary who represents all unions, said the Bill is the “latest attack on the right to strike.”
He added, “That’s undemocratic, unworkable, and almost certainly illegal.”