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?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)