Unions warn of massive wave of strikes

Monday, December 20, 2010
By Paul Martin

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey vows to work with students to fight government’s austerity agenda

Matthew Taylor
Guardian.co.uk
Sunday 19 December 2010

The UK faces the prospect of widespread and co-ordinated industrial action in the new year, with the leader of the largest trade union today warning that it is “preparing for battle” with the government over its “unprecedented assault” on the welfare state.

Len McCluskey, the newly elected leader of Unite, says union leaders will be holding a special meeting in January to discuss a “broad strike movement” to stop what he described as the coalition’s “explicitly ideological” programme of cuts. Writing in the Guardian, McCluskey praises the “magnificent student movement” that has seen tens of thousands of young people take to the streets to protest at the government’s plans for post-16 education, saying it has put trade unions “on the spot”.

“Their mass protests against the tuition fees increase have refreshed the political parts a hundred debates, conferences and resolutions could not reach,” he said.

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