NEW TUC leader Paul Nowak has insisted that tomorrow’s meeting of the TUC General Council in central London will not be considering calls for a general strike to defend the NHS and smash the anti-union laws.
The meeting is being held ahead of the mass 12-hour strike by thousands of ambulance worker members of the GMB and Unison from 11am to 11pm on Wednesday.
Over 1,000 British Army personnel have already been mobilised to break strike action by ambulance workers and immigration officer members of the PCS at UK airports and ports.
The Tory government announced last week that it is going to introduce, possibly as early as this week, new anti-union laws to enforce ‘minimum service levels’ targeting transport, health, education and other public sector workers.
Groups of senior trade union officials, though not general secretaries, from health, transport and other sections sections of workers currently taking strike action, are meeting with Tory ministers and bosses today.
The TUC said last week: ‘Tuesday’s meeting is one in a series of regular meetings to think about how we best support unions engaged in industrial campaigns.’
TUC general secretary Paul Nowak claimed: ‘Our members aren’t interested in the general strike or taking on the government.
‘Our members are interested in a decent pay rise; the government, the employers treating them with respect, recognising that they’ve got genuine issues and problems.’
Nowak accused ministers of ‘sabotaging efforts to reach settlements’ and urged the government and employers to ‘work with unions to end Britain’s living standards nightmare’.
‘UK workers are on course for two decades of lost pay. This is the longest squeeze on earnings in modern history. We can’t go on like this. We can’t be a country where nurses are having to use food banks, while City bankers get unlimited bonuses.’
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