Union leaders are warning Britain to be prepared for mass co-ordinated strike action, including civil disobedience if necessary, should the scale of public sector cuts be as deep as they predict.With research by the GMB union indicating that the police, councils, courts and NHS Trusts are already laying people off before the cuts are announced, many people believe much worse is to come.
Bob Crow speaking on the BBC1 Andrew Marr show, spoke passionately about co-ordinated strike action if the poor became targeted for the wrong-doings of bankers who were still collecting their fat-cat bonuses. Even Boris Johnson speaking afterwards said that Bob Crow 'had a point' about the bankers and went on to say that he wanted some big projects, like the London crossrail link, protected. Harriet Harman also said that Labour felt 'militant' about the cuts.
The country may well be facing the largest flexing of workers muscle for some twenty years. The general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), Mark Serwotka, said that we should prepare for “a campaign of resistance the like of which we have not seen in this country for decades”.
Delegates at today's annual meeting of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) will be asked to vote for a motion called "Defending public services", which has already been signed by most of the countries' larger unions.
The TUC's general secretary Brendan Barber doesn't believe that the general public has fully cottoned on to the scale of the cuts and how they will affect their lives. "But when the reality begins to emerge after the spending review it will, produce a very different reaction.” he said.
These cuts were inevitable. Even had Labour won the election there would have been large scale reductions in public sector spending.
When Labour was throwing money and jobs about with gay abandon the unions and members soaked them up and didn't ask where they came from and about how sustainable it was into the future. They just let the government get on with it.
They supported and profited from a government that leveraged itself beyond all reason on the sole belief that the City would always be there to provide the funds. Now it's all collapsed the unions are hell bent on following a discredited Labour type policy further down the path in the hope that they can keep their 'winnings'. Once again not worrying about where the money comes from or how sustainable into the future it is.
For the rest of us are the concerns of rubbish piling up on the streets and bodies going unburied just like the winter of discontent in the late '70s.