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Cuts to bring huge industrial unrest

A union leader has warned that the government faces industrial unrest on a 'massive scale' over opposition to cuts in spending and jobs.

The warning came from the general secretary of Unison, Dave Prentis, who said the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats had broken promises since the general election last year.

Activists at union annual conferences, which start later this month, are to express increasing anger at the coalition government's austerity measures and discuss industrial action.

Mr Prentis said: "For public sector workers and the people who rely on them, for the sick, the vulnerable, the elderly, the jobless and those seeking to better themselves through education, the future is bleak.

"Unless this government changes direction, it is heading for industrial turmoil on a massive scale. The government must understand that Unison will fight tooth and nail to protect and defend public services, and will ballot one million of its members to strike to protect their pensions."

Public and Commercial Services general secretary, Mark Serwotka, said: "Barely a year in, this government has sparked a wave of popular anger against its ideological plan to blame and punish us for an economic crisis caused by greed and recklessness in the financial sector."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"Yes I do. This government seems hell bent on dismantling the health service, education and many other essential public services and laying the blame on the last government, which is quite frankly wearing thin. Labour were not powerful enough to have caused a worldwide recession; this recession was caused by greedy bankers on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly in the US - by unscrupulous lenders and the sub-prime mortgage. We should be protecting our greatest assets for our children; and that does not mean flogging them off to the private sector for private profit. We have been in worse situations than this - after WW2 we were also in dire straits and the government then invested in its greatest asset - its people, by creating the NHS, building council houses and opening up chances of education for those youngsters from poor backgrounds. It is terrible that this current millionaire government are now trying to turn back the clock. And why should they care about our pensions? They are millionaires! They can miraculously afford to bail out other European countries and commit even more troops to foreign countries (and abandon them when they come home broken); but they cant afford proper home care for the elderly and vulnerable, and university education for all including the poor?" - Name and address supplied