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Britain’s trade unions support strikes against austerity measures

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by Kay Mitchell

It has been announced that the tough austerity measures introduced by the coalition Government are set to lead to industrial action following a trade union gathering in Manchester today.

At the annual Trades Union Congress (TUC) meeting, union leaders urged delegates to “stand up and fight” against the massive spending cuts.

The motion was supported by an overwhelming majority of delegates and the TUC has said strikes were “inevitable” unless the Government is prepared to change direction.

Support has been received from three of Britain’s biggest unions – Unite, UNISON and the GMB. Together these unions represent approximately 4 million workers.

Mark Serwotka of the Public and Commercial Services Union believes unions needed to “start the planning now” for action.

While the coalition Government has faced much criticism for quickly introducing such tough measures to deal with the UK’s budget deficit, it has deemed them necessary in order to save Britain from the problems which debt-stricken Greece faces.

Many experts have warned that cutting the deficit too quickly could pose a threat to the fragile recovery, because spending cuts and a hike in taxes will have slashed the forecast for growth, which therefore increases the possibility of a double dip recession.

Similar measures introduced by the euro zone nations have led to many strikes this year. In particular, Greece’s tough measures have met with strong opposition from unions.

Greece’s two main unions have launched several strikes this year but some of the protests have been violent.

In May, a strike resulted in three deaths in Athens after protesters set fire to a bank.

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News posted: September 13, 2010

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