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
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

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: Sales Manager

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Manager - Production

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Manager

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss