About 30,000 nurses in New Zealand walked off their jobs on Wednesday in a nationwide eight-hour strike after negotiations with the government for better pay and working conditions failed, APA reports quoting Reuters.
The strike action came after the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) rejected a 1.4% pay hike proposed by the District Health Board earlier this week. The government says the nurses' demands amounted to a 17% increase that it can't afford, but pledged to continue negotiations.
The stand-off comes as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern faces criticism for not doing enough to address rising inequality, despite the economy bouncing back from the COVID-19 pandemic more swiftly than expected.
Thousands of nurses marched on the streets holding placards, while others gathered at parks and outside hospitals around the country.