Crow warns of threat to workers
A union leader has warned millions of workers that they face the greatest attack on civil liberties since the miners' strike 25 years ago as plans continue for a wave of walkouts over pensions, jobs and pay.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union, said the Government was putting in place contingency plans to counter strikes starting next Thursday by up to 750,000 teachers, lecturers, civil servants and other public sector workers.
Speaking on the eve of the RMT's annual conference in Fort William, Mr Crow said: "We saw during the miners' strike what happens when the state and bosses' organisations mobilise against working people - checkpoints on motorways, banning orders, security service infiltration, collaboration with the right-wing press and repressive legislation designed to harass and undermine those prepared to stand up and fight for their livelihoods and their communities.
"Behind the scenes, those same shadowy forces are working through the night to play out the same role in the months ahead.
"In the General Strike of 1926, debutantes and Etonians drove buses and trains and collected fares. No doubt David Cameron, under the umbrella of his Big Society, would like to roll out a modern version of that scab army in 2011 to see off the nurses, teachers and transport workers.
"We stand on the edge of the biggest industrial confrontation in over 80 years. On one side stand the workers we rely on to deliver our public services and on the other side stands the raw fiscal-fascism of this ConDem government and their cheerleaders amongst the business and banking community who created this crisis in the first place.
"Taking inspiration from our comrades on the streets of Athens, RMT pledges its full support for every group of workers engaged in this battle and when it comes to solidarity, co-operation and co-ordination, we will be right up there in the front line."
The RMT's conference opens on Sunday and runs until Friday.
Public sector union leaders will meet Government ministers on Monday to try to resolve a row over pensions amid warnings of strikes by more than a million workers in the autumn if there is no deal.