The British government said on Thursday it will introduce legislation to ensure key public sectors such as the ambulance service will have to maintain minimum safety levels during industrial action by workers.
The government will introduce the bill to parliament in the coming weeks and will consult on the minimum safety levels to be set for fire, ambulance and rail services, the business department said in a statement.
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“While we hope that voluntary agreements can continue to be made in most cases, introducing minimum safety levels ... will restore the balance between those seeking to strike and protecting the public from disproportionate disruption,” business minister Grant Shapps said.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who took office less than three months ago, has been under pressure to do more to resolve a wave of industrial action by workers demanding better pay across crucial sectors from healthcare to transport.
The government also said it would invite trade unions to have “honest, constructive conversations” on public sector pay settlements for 2023-24, as part of its efforts to end the strikes soon.
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