Belfast Telegraph

Trade union to reveal vote result

The Government will hear today if the prospect of a huge strike by public sector workers will become more certain as another leading trade union announces a ballot result.

Unite, which opens its national conference in Liverpool, will reveal whether its 70,000 members in local government in Wales, England and Northern Ireland have voted to take industrial action over pay.

Unison and the GMB have already held strike ballots, with their members voting in favour, in protest at a pay offer worth 1% for most workers.

A one day stoppage is being held on July 10, threatening the coalition with its biggest challenge to its policy of public sector pay restraint.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey will make a keynote speech to the 600 delegates in which he will attack the Government over a range of issues including zero hours contracts and a living wage.

In an article in today's Morning Star newspaper, Mr McCluskey said: "For our UK members, there can be no doubt that if a Tory government is returned to power in 2015, the mindless austerity that the coalition has inflicted upon our people will be but child's play; they have worse in store.

"2014 had barely begun when George Osborne was warning more cuts were on their way, with another £25 billion to be ripped out of the welfare state. Yet the Chancellor's economic voodoo actually pushes the country deeper into the red, with £14m per hour being borrowed.

" Even with a slim majority, the Tories would enforce draconian new laws on trade union activity - regardless of the fact that trade unions in the UK are already more restricted than anywhere else in Europe. They are laying the foundations now, employing an obliging lawyer (Bruce Carr QC) to doubtless conclude that our people's bedrock rights to a defence and protest must go.

"They will do so because they fear our movement. They fear when people stand together. They fear it when fairness and the common good challenge the boardroom's wild profit-making. They fear us because we are the people of our countries - and they know that for as long as we exist, they will be held in check."


From Belfast Telegraph