Labour warned over public sector strike action threat

There will be growth in industrial action and tension between government and
unions if the new Government does not address staffing problems in public
services, the Industrial Society’s chief executive warned at a conference in
Glasgow.

Will Hutton claimed that the recent success of the RMT union during the
London Underground strikes has encouraged other unions to consider strike
action.

He said, "The RMT succeeded because they had the public on their side.
I believe we will see more strikes and industrial action in the future because
employees, particularly in the public sector, believe that not enough is being
done for them."

Hutton warned that public services will be a key issue in Labour’s second
term of government. He said, "I do not think union members have the
stomach for all-out war with the Government but this is a dangerous time for
Labour and they will have to deliver in their second term to avoid
confrontation."

Last month postal workers voted against plans to privatise Consignia, and
Unison threatened strike action over introducing private-sector manage- ment
into the NHS, for example.

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