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Ambulance staff to strike during Tour de France

Ambulance staff to strike during Tour de France

Published at 5:26pm 27th June 2014. (Updated at 4:01pm 28th June 2014)

Yorkshire ambulance workers have voted for strike action during the Tour de France weekend.

Unite union members will down tools on 5 and 6 July in a long-running dispute over patient and safety issues.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service said it is disappointed and that the ballot result "reflects the total disregard Unite has for the welfare of patients".

Unite regional officer Terry Cunliffe said: "Once again, our members have spoken with a clear voice that concern for patient and staff safety remains absolutely paramount.
"This is a very strong mandate and we urge the trust’s Chief Executive David Whiting, who recently imposed new draconian conditions without any agreement with the unions, to sit down for urgent and constructive talks."

David Whiting, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: "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.

"By choosing to take industrial action over the weekend of the Tour de France when Yorkshire will be proud to be showcasing its people, places and warm welcome to a worldwide audience, it reflects the total disregard Unite has for the welfare of patients. 

"Their actions are clearly designed to try and disrupt vital services for local residents, visitors and vulnerable patients who find themselves in an emergency situation.

"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."