Survey finds half of public sector workers ‘prepared to strike’

| October 18, 2010 | 0 Comments

A survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has revealed half of public sector workers would consider strike action in the event of pay cuts or changes to their pensions.

The CIPD said 49% of workers surveyed agreed with the statement “workers have to do what’s necessary to protect their jobs and if that disrupts public services, that’s the price of living in a democratic society”.

As part of the Coalition Government‘s massive spending cuts, public sector workers are facing a pay freeze and changes to their pension.

Further details will be unveiled in the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review later this week.

Mike Emmott of the CIPD is therefore urging public sector employers to be given time to consult with their staff about the changes brought about by the spending review.

However, returning to the possibility of strike action, it appears that many are concerned about the damage this will cause.

Just over half of public sector employees believed that they would lose public support if they caused disruption through strike action.

The survey comes just a fortnight after employers’ group, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), called on the Government to tighten laws to make it harder for workers to take strike action.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, also called for a reform of the law, suggesting the Government introduce legislation preventing action unless at least half of union members in a workplace participate in a ballot.

The fear of industrial action comes at a time when many euro zone nations have been on strike, due to massive spending cuts.

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.

France is currently in the midst of a nationwide strike against austerity measures, which include changes to pensions.

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