The army is being drafted in to provide emergency ambulance cover today as the first of a series of industrial actions set to grip the country over the coming weeks takes place.The Defence Forces are poised to provide emergency cover in Cork today during a nationwide paramedics’ strike which could take more than 100 ambulances off the road.And with just over a week to the nurses’ strike, their representative organisations have referred the dispute to the Workplace Relations Commission.Separately, the country’s search and rescue helicopter service risks being grounded in the coming weeks in a dispute over pilot rosters.Today, Defence Forces medics and army ambulances will be positioned in Cork’s Collins Barracks in case they are needed during the 10-hour action by up to 500 members of the National Ambulance Service Representative Association (NASRA).Members of the group, which is affiliated to the Psychiatric Nurses Association, will withdraw labour from 7am to 5pm in an escalation of their dispute with the HSE and the National Ambulance Service (NAS) over union recognition and the deduction of union subscriptions.NASRA spokesman, Tony Gregg, said the dispute will affect 70% of the national ambulance fleet.In Cork, it is expected the strike will leave towns like… Read full this story
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