LONDON — Nurses in Britain will go on strike, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said on Saturday, an action that will add to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s challenges during an economic crisis.
The prospect of up to 300,000 nurses walking out and the subsequent canceled operations and procedures, coincides with British workers from several industries including the rail network having taken strike action over the last few months as pay rises fail to keep pace with double-digit inflation. School workers are also going to vote on strike action.
“Our strike action will be as much for patients as it is for nurses — we have their support in doing this,” RCN general secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen said in a statement on Saturday.
The RCN said that its members have faced a decade of real-terms pay cuts and that the ballot over the last four weeks was the biggest in its 106-year history.
The nurses would strike before Christmas, the Observer newspaper reported. The walkout would be the first national strike in the history of the RCN, said the newspaper, which cited union officials. — Reuters