Belfast Telegraph

Spending cuts fuel industrial action fears

By Alan Jones

Most employers fear increasing industrial action in the next year, especially as public spending cuts start to take effect, a new study revealed today.

A survey of 400 employers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) showed that almost a third predicted that strikes by their staff are likely.

The survey highlighted deteriorating employment relations in the public sector and a higher level of expectation that industrial action will be launched in the coming months than in private firms.

Industrial relations have deteriorated since 2008, with the number of employers saying they were good falling from 65% to 55%.

The CIPD's Ben Willmott said: "The survey highlights the impact that spending cuts are having on the employment relations climate. However, to what extent this deterioration in relations between management and unions will result in sustained strike action by public sector workers is still open to question.