Thurrock could be stricken by “union day of action”

UNIONS have called on a nationwide “day of action” for 30 November, which threatens to disrupt public services across the Thurrock.

Strikes, rallies and other events will be held in protest at the government’s decision to increase workers’ pension contribution payments reports the BBC.

TUC boss Brendan Barber urged ministers to “engage in a genuine spirit of seeking agreement” to end the deadlock.

Chancellor George Osborne branded the strike plans “deeply irresponsible”.

Four unions – Unison, Unite, the GMB and the Fire Brigades’ Union – are already balloting over co-ordinated industrial action.

Mr Barber said 10 other unions were also looking to hold a vote on strikes.

He promised 30 November would bring “the biggest trade union mobilisation for a generation”.

If there’s a co-ordinated walkout of teachers, nurses, bin collectors, fire fighters, care workers and others, the disruption will cause a big political headache and logistical headache for the government.

If voters feel ministers could have averted industrial action with smarter negotiating then it could quickly turn voters against the government.

At the moment, ministers are confident that the public is with them on public sector pension reform and Unison’s Dave Prentis predicted the unions would be “vilified” and “attacked” if strikes go ahead.

Which would be a headache for Labour too.

Ed Miliband has tried to distance himself from those calling for strikes – so long as talks are continuing.

That buys him some breathing space.

But Labour is now heavily reliant on union cash and a mass walkout by members could leave the party in a very awkward position.

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