Labour faces union anger

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Indy Politics
A Labour government would face a barrage of criticism within weeks of attaining office from Britain's biggest union and one of the party's largest affiliates.

The provisional agenda for the annual conference of Unison, the 1.2 million- strong public service union, contains more than two dozen motions attacking Labour on key policies.

Other unions are expected to join the chorus of disapproval as soon as the election is out of the way. By mutual agreement Labour affiliates are currently "keeping their heads down".

Unison members are mainly angry at the pronouncement by Gordon Brown, the shadow Chancellor, that he would stick to the Government's policy on public expenditure.

While senior Unison officials will argue that many of the critical motions for the conference in Brighton on 10 June have been tabled by the far left, there are misgivings among the membership over Labour's devotion to tight monetary policies.

Even the union's relatively moderate national executive committee has tabled a proposition which registers implicit opposition to Labour's policies. It demands a properly funded state sector: "Quality public services do not come cheap. The public cannot have European levels of public services at American levels of taxation."

The committee says it willmount a "vigorous campaign" against the pay bill freeze to which Mr Brown intends to adhere.