Union warns of autumn of discontent

The Government has been warned it faces an autumn of industrial action “never witnessed before” as health and council workers, teachers, firefighters and civil servants gear up to strike in bitter disputes over pay and cuts.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, told his union’s national conference in Brighton that public sector workers will be “making a stand” later this year.

He revealed he has been holding talks with unions representing teachers, probation officers and other public sector employees about co-ordinated strikes.

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“The aim is to make it an autumn for this coalition to remember, a wave of action never witnessed before, an autumn with plans afoot to ballot our health members, our police staff, our food agency staff.”

Unison is already balloting over half a million local authority workers for strikes over pay, with a massive walkout planned for July 10 if there is a yes vote.

Members of other unions are also being balloted for a strike on July 10, while further walkouts are set to be launched later in the year well as a national demonstration in October.

Mr Prentis also had a strong message for Labour, saying workers were fed up with “flaky” ideas and lack of support.