Millions of public sector workers were preparing for the fight of their lives to defend jobs, pensions and services, raising the prospect of "sustained" strikes, a union leader said today.
Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, warned of a campaign of industrial action "without precedent", involving more than a million workers which he predicted would "weaken" the Government.
He launched a savage attack on the coalition, saying public sector workers had been subjected to "shabby treatment" at the hands of the "wretched" government.
Mr Prentis also accused Labour of "building a bridge" the Tories were now marching over, adding that Unison should only support Labour candidates who backed the union.
He described his keynote speech to Unison's annual conference in Manchester as a "call to arms", urging the 2,000 delegates to prepare for action when they returned to their region.
"The fight of our lives may be an overused cliche, but this is what this is. A fight we can win, must win - and will win."
He called on ministers to stop "demonising" hardworking people, who he said had had enough of being "bullied", adding that the Government's controversial pension reforms were "daylight robbery".
Public sector workers were being told to pay more into their pension scheme, receive less on retirement, while women only found out on the radio that their pension age is to increase to 67, which "added insult to injury".
Unison will stand behind the teachers and civil servants going on strike on June 30, pledged Mr Prentis, adding: "If the government fails to listen, to heed our warnings, to negotiate in good faith, I say to David Cameron - you ain't seen nothing yet. We will strike to defend our pensions."
Unison's preparations for industrial action were well advanced, said Mr Prentis, pledging that political and public campaigns will be intensified.
Mr Prentis said unison could break the pay freeze currently affecting workers across the public sector, stop the jobs "cull" and send the coalition "packing".
"We know we won't win it in a day, but every day we keep the pressure up. We'll wear them down, sap their strength, and bring them closer to breaking point.
"It's about breaking a political consensus that says markets know best. In truth, Labour built the bridge over which the Tories now march. In future, only supporting Labour candidates who support our values, our union, our people."
Mr Prentis said the recent review of the government's NHS reforms were a "cynical exercise in deceit and deception", which hadn't changed the coalition's aims.
He noted that the NHS will celebrate its 63rd anniversary next month, saying Unison will fight the government's plans, until they are "tossed back in the bin".
Mr Prentis took a swipe at shadow chancellor Ed Balls, who said in a TV interview at the weekend that unions should not walk into a "trap" set by the Government by going on strike.
He said: "When we need your advice Ed, we will ask for it. We have a saying where I come from - if you have nothing to say, shut your gob.
"We understand a letter of solidarity might be in the post from the Labour frontbench - but don't hold your breath."
The biggest cheer of the day came when Mr Prentis warned that Unison would only support Labour candidates that backed the union's values.
At a press briefing later, Mr Prentis said everything now rested on a crucial meeting between unions and the Government next Monday.
"The atmosphere will be very tense and we will know at that meeting if the coalition is serious about negotiating of if they want a confrontation."
Mr Prentis said he would not allow low paid women to be "starved" back to work if they went on strike, adding that he favoured a rolling programme of action, coordinated with other unions.
Unison has a £20 million fighting fund for the campaign, he revealed.
Mr Prentis added that the Conservatives were playing on the fact that Labour supported policies such as school academies, which "was not helpful".Reuse content