Unions warn of action against cuts
Published 12/09/2010 | 16:22
Unions have warned of co-ordinated strikes and campaigns of civil disobedience to fight the Government's spending cuts amid revelations that more than 200,000 public sector jobs have already been axed or are at risk of being lost.
Councils, health authorities, police forces, Government departments and other public sector bodies across the country have all taken an axe to jobs in recent months after having their budgets slashed.
One leader warned that co-ordinated industrial action was "inevitable" as the TUC prepared to draw up a campaign of protests against the Government when its annual congress opens in Manchester on Monday.
Delegates will be asked to support joint union industrial action as well as other forms of protest, with a national demonstration being planned for next March which could attract hundreds of thousands of people in the biggest show of public anger in a generation.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said a campaign of civil disobedience is needed to fight spending cuts.
"Maybe we need Batman climbing up 10 Downing street, Spider-Man on Buckingham Palace, as part of peaceful demonstrations of civil disobedience.
"This is an opportunity for the entire trade union movement to come together and mobilise support. Unions should also link up together because we are confronting the same enemy otherwise they will be picked off one at a time."
He even suggested that people could sit down on roads to highlight their opposition to cuts.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union said industrial action is "inevitable", adding that unless unions work together to fight back, the future was "bleak".
"Over 100,000 civil service jobs have been cut over the past six years and we are now being hit by closures and cuts even as the sword of Chancellor George Osborne hangs in the air."