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18th of August 2011
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Public sector strikes to go ahead on 30 June

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by Kay Mitchell

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS), which is Britain’s largest civil service union, has said 290,000 of its members will take strike action later this month, protesting against pension reforms.

They will join hundreds of thousands of teachers, meaning around 750,000 public sector workers will strike at the end of the month.

The co-ordinated action will result in Britain’s worst strike for decades and will affect every person in the country, according to Mark Serwortka, General Secretary of the PCS.

“Schools will be shut, job centres closed, driving licences won’t be issued, queues will form at airports and ports,” said Mr Serwotka.

The strike action is taking place after the Government unveiled plans to reform public sector pensions, after it said they have become unsustainable as people are living longer.

Meanwhile, in related news, Business Secretary Vince Cable recently warned that co-ordinated strike action may lead to tighter union laws.

Furthermore, last autumn, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and employers’ organisation, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), called on the Government to tighten laws to make it harder for workers to take strike action.

Mr Johnson 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 CBI, meanwhile, called for a minimum of 40% of union members balloted to be in favour of a strike before it can proceed and is also requesting that the notice period for industrial action be increased from 7 to 14 days, in order to give businesses more time to prepare for strikes.

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News posted: June 15, 2011

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