Union chief Crow in pay deals call
The leader of one of the country's largest unions has called for workers to stand firm and fight for fair pay deals amid reports that bank chiefs are in line for huge bonuses.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow accused Business Secretary Vince Cable and the coalition Government of "standing idly by" as bankers partied "like it's 1999".
His comments came as the Financial Times reported that Britain's big five banks are intending to go ahead and reward their chief executives with generous bonuses, despite the danger of a public backlash.
Mr Crow said: "With £7 billion about to be shovelled over in bonuses to the bankers, there will be anger on the streets as people realise that the same people who created the UK financial crisis are still living in the lap of luxury while the rest of us are told to take the hit.
"With the NHS running out of beds and flu vaccine, commuters bled dry and VAT sent sky high, they are still partying like it's 1999 down in the Square Mile while Vince Cable and the ConDem Government stand idly by."
The FT reported that HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and Standard Chartered will press ahead with the payouts.
Mr Crow advised workers to stand their ground if faced with a pay freeze.
He explained: "So much for sharing the pain. My advice to any worker told they should take a pay freeze or a pay cut this year is to point to the bankers, stand firm and demand a fair deal. That is exactly what RMT will be doing.
"Our members didn't create this crisis and those that did are laughing all the way to the bank.
"We intend to continue to fight for pay deals that protect and improve our members' standards of living and we will take no lectures about austerity from the Government or the employers while the boardrooms and bordellos of the City are awash with our cash."