If Derek Simpson is to be taken at his word, it would seem employers should be preparing for a winter of industrial action.
In an interview with Personnel Today at last month's TUC conference in Brighton, the joint general-secretary of Unite - the UK's biggest trade union - warned that current disputes over pay are set to snowball.
"Employers and employees are under pressure, and that is going to push people into conflict.
"HR is in the front-line, and it will get more fractious. We are not seeking conflict, but it is coming to us because of policies outside our control," Simpson said.
And according to research released by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in the same week, many employers are already bracing themselves for strikes over the next 12 months.
The survey of more than 850 employers found that one-quarter of unionised organisations have been affected by strike action in the last year, and almost one in three believes they may experience strike action by some workers in the next 12 months.
Dark old days
So does all this uncertainty mean that we're heading back to the dark days of the late 1970s - the so-called 'Winter of Discontent', where disagreements over pay led to widespread strikes, frequent electricity cuts and rubbish bags piled up on streets throughout the country?
There are, unfortunately, some striking similarities. Then, as now, it was a Labour government in charge, trying to keep pay rises under a given limit in an attempt to keep inflation in check. In 1978-79, James Callaghan's government tried to enforce a 5% pay award ceiling, while this year Gordon Brown's government has worked to cap public sector pay rises around the 2% mark. Whereas today Labour is behind in the polls to David Cameron's resurgent Conservative Party, then Margaret Thatcher was waiting in the wings to claim victory at the 1979 general election.