UK: Union discounts ‘autumn of discontent’

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The join general secretary of the Unite union has discounted the possibility of general strike action this autumn over planned cuts in public spending. Derek Simpson instead favoured educating the public over the impact of Government departmental spending cuts which, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, could average 25% and will be announced on 20 October.

While acknowledging the need to slash the £155bn budget deficit, Mr Simpson asserted that cuts should fall over a longer period than the six years in which the coalition government has sought to reduce public borrowing to zero.

Two other unions have already called for co-ordinated strike action in protest.