Monday, 13 September 2010

UK unions ready for resistance

UK UNION leaders warned of strike action as they urged the public to join millions of workers in a campaign to halt government plans for the deepest budget cuts since World War II.

Unions representing more than 6 million workers voted today to coordinate industrial action and build support for public demonstrations, reports Bloomberg.

The unions, which are meeting at the Trades Union Congress’s annual convention in Manchester, want to be ready to act as soon as cuts are announced next month.

“Industrial action is inevitable unless the government is prepared to change direction,” Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the 301,000 member Public and Commercial Services Union, told delegates.

“If all the public and private sector unions stand together not only can we win but we can offer hope and inspiration to people who are looking to us to stand up for them and protect their public services.”

Widespread public support for the unions’ campaign would threaten to derail Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s program that has so far won the backing of bond investors and rating companies.

Meanwhile, state propaganda in support of the neoliberal 'austerity' measures may also be under threat.

Reports The Guardian: "The BBC's coverage of chancellor George Osborne's spending review on 20 October faces disruption after broadcasting unions today announced strike dates in their dispute over pension scheme changes.

"The National Union of Journalists, Bectu and Unite today rejected BBC director general Mark Thompson's latest revised pension reform offer, communicated to staff by email earlier in the day, and confirmed two 48-hour strikes designed to cause maximum disruption to the corporation's coverage of key political events this autumn.

"They intend to strike on 5 and 6 October, which would disrupt coverage of the final two days of the Conservative party conference, and 19 and 20 October, to coincide with Osborne's announcement of the scale of government cuts in the Treasury's public spending review."