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Strike action possible against public sector cuts

The TUC conference, which begins today in London, will focus on government spending cuts, and union leaders are threatening mass strike action unless there is a serious rethink in Government policy on spending cuts and pensions reform.

Unite, which represents 1.5 million workers, is calling for strikes and civil disobedience to fight cuts and TUC general secretary Brendan Barber has agreed that there is a strong chance of industrial action unless there is movement in talks over the proposed increases to public sector workers’ pension contributions.

In his opening address to delegates at the conference, Barber will call for a “movement for the alternative” as the coalition government “has set the cruel and mistaken objective of getting rid of the deficit in just four years”.

He is expected to say the cuts have “hit middle and low-income workers in both private and public sectors, and have hardly been noticed by those who did so well out of the banking bubble”.

He will add: “The less you had to do with causing the crash, the bigger the price you are having to pay.”

Following the teachers’ and civil servants’ strike in June, more than ten unions could be set to take part in planned action this winter, yet Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has ruled out any change on the deficit reduction programme.

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