Army could be deployed to help limit Christmas strike disruption

The Army could be drafted in to limit disruption caused by planned strikes in the run-up to Christmas.

Military personnel could be deployed as ambulance drivers and firefighters, the government said.

It said around 2,000 military personnel, civil servants and volunteers are being trained to support a range of services, including Border Force at airports and ports.

It said the decision on deploying troops was yet to be taken, but the troops “are part of the range of options available should strike action in these areas go ahead as planned”.

The UK faces a wave of strikes this winter, which will affect services including transport, the NHS, education and delivery drivers.

Tens of thousands are expected to take industrial action as the UK is gripped by recession and the cost of living crisis.

Read more:
Strikes every day before Christmas – which sectors are affected and why

“Multiple unions have taken the decision to strike over the coming weeks, leaving millions of people facing disruption over the Christmas period,” the government said.

“Many unions are asking for uplifts in line with inflation or even more – despite comparable uplifts in the private sector averaging between four and six per cent so far this year.

“The government recognises these are very challenging economic times. That’s why it is focused on getting inflation under control as the best way to help everyone’s money go further and avoid soaring inflation rates being embedded in the UK economy.”

The government added: “There is still time to call off planned strikes and ministers have repeatedly called for unions and employers to keep talking and come to an agreement, rather than take pre-emptive industrial action.”


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