“Local support has been amazing. Different businesses have been offering us free teas and coffees, the Irish prison service have been out with soup and sandwiches, passersby in cars have even given us boxes of sweets! The support is overwhelming.”
These are the words of Tony Arthurs on the picket line in front of Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise this morning as nurses and midwives begin day three of strike action over pay parity and staff storages.
“The support is overwhelming but we don’t want to still be on strike action next week. We want to be inside the hospital, not outside on strike, but the government don’t seem to want to even engage with us now,” said Tony.
Over 37,000 nurses and midwives around the country are on strike today with no signs of breakthrough in the escalating dispute.
Three further strike days are scheduled for next week.
A rally to support the striking nurses and midwives will be held in Dublin this weekend. Supporters will begin the route in the Garden of Remembrance on Saturday at 12.30pm.
All outpatient, inpatient and day surgery appointments around the country are cancelled.
So too are routine community nursing services and health centre nurse clinics.