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Business groups hit out at public sector strikes

BUSINESS leaders hit out at 270,000 public sector workers who went on strike yesterday over plans to cap their redundancy pay.

The dispute, involving workers from courts, tax offices, parliament and border controls, centres on changes to the civil service compensation scheme which would mean workers get less money if they are made redundant. It is the first time security staff in parliament have gone on strike in more than 25 years, said the Public and Commercial Services Union that represents the workers.

David Frost, director general at the British Chambers of Commerce said: “Redundancy payments in the public sector have historically been extremely generous and far larger than those available to most private sector employees. With the public finances currently in such a dire state, it was inevitable that civil servants’ severance packages were going to need to be reformed.”

A spokesman for the Institute of Directors said: “With public sector finances in their current state, it is incumbent on every area of the civil service to share some of the pain. If this particular section of the public sector successfully protects all of its existing benefits, it will only be to the detriment of workers in other government departments and agencies.”