Warning over industrial turmoil

The Government was today warned it faces industrial turmoil on a "massive scale" as unions start planning to step up opposition to spending and job cuts.

A series of union annual conferences will start later this month when activists are set to express growing anger at the coalition's austerity measures and discuss industrial action.



Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, today accused the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats of breaking promises since last year's general election.



"The economy is still in intensive care, but the Government's medicine is not working.



"We know that worse lies ahead. After the double bank holiday feel-good factor wears off, the reality of austerity Britain will kick back in. 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.



"This will not be a token skirmish, but a prolonged and sustained war, because this government has declared war on a huge proportion of the population.



"Many have the opportunity in elections this week to let the government know exactly what they think of its handling of the economy. The government would be wise to take note of that verdict."



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.



"No government in living memory has sparked such unrest and opposition to its central economic policy in such a short space of time.



"We are committed to continuing to make the case for unity and to oppose all cuts, not because it is a simple slogan, but because it is right. The cuts are not just unfair, they are totally unnecessary, and there is an alternative.



"We refuse to be forced to choose between the old and the young, those in work and those out of work, the healthy and the sick.



"At least half a million people showed on the TUC march that they were prepared to march for the alternative. We are now saying we must also be prepared to strike for it."



The PCS annual conference in two weeks' time will discuss plans for a national ballot of civil servants for industrial action in protest at spending cuts and the effect they are having on services and jobs.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test