UK: Unions to vote on ‘joint industrial action’

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The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is to vote on holding ‘joint industrial action’ if government plans to reduce spending are not changed. With many governnment departments having been told to plan for budget cuts of 25% to 40%, unions have already spoken of their opposition to what the TUC General Secretary has called ‘not temporary cuts, but a permanent rollback of public services and the welfare state’.

At the same time, Mr Barber stressed that private sector companies which work with the public sector would also be affected by cuts.

For the government, the Cabinet Office Minister asserted that it was ‘absolutely necessary’ to eradicate the budget deficit – to stop interest rates going up and ‘choking off’ the recovery. He also said the government wanted a ‘genuine partnership with the trade unions’.