Unions support joint industrial action over cuts

From the BBC

Brendan Barber said the cuts were a permanent rollback of public services

Union delegates have backed joint industrial action if “attacks” on jobs, pensions and public services go ahead.

The TUC‘s annual gathering backed a motion which included calls to build “a broad solidarity alliance of unions and communities under threat”.

TUC chief Brendan Barber warned that big cuts would make Britain a “dark, brutish and more frightening place”.

The PM’s spokesman said they wanted “partnership” with the unions to tackle the deficit.

The opening of the TUC’s 142nd congress – the first under a non-Labour government since 1996 – comes amid concern among unions about the speed and scope of the coalition’s programme to reduce the £155bn deficit.

Most Whitehall departments have been ordered to plan for savings of between 25% and 40% ahead of the comprehensive spending review of 20 October.

Delegates debated a motion calling for the TUC’s general council to “support and co-ordinate campaigning and joint union industrial action, nationally and locally, in opposition to attacks on jobs, pensions, pay or public services”.

It could lead to different unions calling strikes on the same days if the cuts are not scaled back, although BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson said trade union laws and union leaders’ desire to build a wide coalition against the cuts made a “winter of discontent” unlikely.

More and video at link

Labour and unions mustn’t be meek, says Harriet Harman

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