‘Turmoil Ahead’ Predicts Union Leaders

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The London and Eastern Region banner of Unite on the massive student demonstration in London on December 9
The London and Eastern Region banner of Unite on the massive student demonstration in London on December 9

‘Working people in the UK can help stop the Conservative-led coalition from taking a wrecking ball to the fabric of daily life’, say the GMB, Unison and Unite trade unions.

In a joint New Year message to some 3.5 million members across both the public and private sectors, the unions add that the ‘government’s dangerous prescription of economic deflation and historically high cuts will not revive the economy but will instead bring it to its knees’.

The three unions pledge that in 2011 they will ‘inspire and support resistance to the cuts across the UK’.

They also vow to make the Spring elections the first referendum on the government’s austerity programme.

The unions warn: ‘Such is the level of concern about the real intent behind the cuts – recasting the state so that the private sector can sweep in, allied to the fear that harsh cuts will cause endemic inequality across society and plunge a new generation into unemployment – that the unions have vowed to work tirelessly together throughout 2011 to pursue a sound economic alternative.’

The unions are ‘furious that the government is using the cover of coalition and a whipped-up fear over the deficit to terrify people into acceptance of what is little more than the rolling back of social provision.’

Pointing to the ‘mounting dissent among economic experts over the government’s approach’, they say there is ‘no programme for growth but only policies which will lead to a devastating contraction in the UK economy at a time when the global economy is still exhibiting deeply worrying signs of recession.’

Condemning ‘the government’s reckless policies’ the three unions say January will see them ‘embark on a programme of promoting an economic alternative to their members’.

Calling for strict bank regulation, Paul Kenny General Secretary of GMB said: ‘The banks’ actions in pouring billions of pounds into risky and complex investments came unstuck and left tax payers and elected governments with a mess to clear up.’

Dave Prentis General Secretary of Unison said: ‘It’s clear that the government is ideologically driven to massacre public services and bring the misery of unemployment and poverty to millions.

‘This is a recipe for social turmoil on a scale not seen since the 80s. A whole generation of young people betrayed, facing a bleak future.’

Len McCluskey, General Secretary-designate of Unite said: ‘This government is ripping a huge hole in the economy by contracting spending and throwing one and a half million people on the dole.

‘But where is the Plan B? Where will the new jobs come from? Certainly not from a private sector which is reeling from the global downturn.’