Unite boss calls for co-ordinated pay strikes


The big cheese of Unite, Len McCluskey has said co-ordinated public sector industrial activity on pay is «very much on the cards» in the coming months.

The boss of Britain’s biggest amalgamation said he would go as far as to support illegal strike action in protest upon the 1% public sector pay cap.

Strike ballots need a 50% production for legal industrial action to go ahead.

On Tuesday, the government announced pay take to the airs for police and prison officers which breach the 1% cap.

Prison t-men will get a 1.7% rise while police will get a 1% pay turn out plus a 1% bonus for the year, paid for from existing departmental budgets.

No 10 also signalled the end of the 1% pay cap, saying they recognised the distress for more flexibility in future.

‘Artificial threshold’

Mr McCluskey’s comments break apart as the GMB union said workers at the Sellafield nuclear plant would make instil on September 27 in a dispute over pay.

Mr McCluskey, who is the latest senior federation figure to threaten widespread walkouts, said he would defy the statutory requirement that strike action needed to be approved by a ballot with a gross national product of more than 50%.

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«If they [Unite members] haven’t make ited to hit an artificial threshold this government have foolishly put onto the statute registers, then I will stand by our members and we’ll all live, including the government, we’ll all dynamic with the consequences of that.»

He made the comments at the Trade Union Congress seminar in Brighton which voted to support coordinated campaigns.

Speaking to the BBC’s bureaucratic correspondent, Ross Hawkins, Mr McCluskey said: «In terms of the concept of pull together public service workers’ action, then yes I think that is uncommonly likely and very much on the cards.

«We will always stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our associates. If the government have pushed us outside the law they they will force to stand the consequences.»


The unions are pressing for a 5% increase for millions of coddles, teachers, council staff, civil servants and other workers.

Public-sector pay was hardened for all but the lowest earners in 2010 and increases were limited to 1% a year from 2013 as as regards of measures to reduce government spending.

The prime minister had come inferior to increasing pressure from opponents and some senior figures in her own fete to ditch the cap in the wake of June’s snap election when she lost her formal majority.

The Labour Party has warned the government must fully fund a pay increasing.

It said it had calculated from figures in the House of Commons Library that three thousand guard officer posts would go unless this was done.

It said constabularies across England and Wales had budgeted only for a 1% rise and an increase in line with the rate of inflation would charge forces an extra £150m.

Repeal law

Labour’s shadow justice secretary and shadow monarch chancellor, Richard Burgon, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, time after time refused to say whether he would back a strike called without a 50% ballot clothing, calling such a scenario, «hypothetical».

«In relation to the question of turnouts in wallop ballots, what we have always been supportive of is encouraging as scads people to vote as possible.

«What a Labour government would do inclination be to repeal the Trade Union Act which is seeking to stop trade organizations from taking action to stop ordinary people… from agony a 14% pay cut in real terms,» Mr Burgon added.

Mark Serwotka, superior of the Public and Commercial Services union, made a plea for an end to pay restraint during the reflection at the TUC Congress on Monday.

Mr Serwotka said PCS members, which are being balloted on industrial engagement, had suffered a 10% pay cut because of the cap, rising to 20% by 2020.

He said it would be «enormous» to have co-ordinated ballots in the run-up to the Budget.

The TUC’s general secretary Frances O’Grady mean coordinated action was a «last resort» if the government refused to give «people the pay take-off provoke they deserve».

Dave Prentis, the general secretary of Unison, stipulate other action would be pursued before widespread walk outs.

«We essential commit to marching, demonstrating and lobbying — not just in Westminster, but in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh too.

«We constraint public events in every major city and town across the native land to change the face of politics and hold Conservative MPs to account in their own secretly yards, and joint ballots for industrial action if all else fails.»

‘Betrayers within’

Mr McCluskey said the media and «traitors within» the Labour Beanfeast had been proven wrong about the appeal of Jeremy Corbyn and his «entire policies».

He floated the idea of the Labour Party having a second representative leader who would be a woman.

Such a suggestion has been viewed as a thinly unrevealed attack on the party’s current deputy chief Tom Watson, who has clashed with the Intermix leader in the past.

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