Trades Union Congress warns of biggest protest

City A.M. Reporter
UNION umbrella body the Trades Union Congress (TUC) at the weekend warned that it will stage the “biggest and boldest” demonstration in its history next March, in protest at the scale of government spending cuts.

The TUC’s warning came after the government last week announced plans to cut half a million public sector jobs, raise the retirement age and slash welfare spending as part of £80bn of cuts, designed to address a budget deficit of 11 per cent of GDP.

The TUC, which represents 6.5m workers, said the cuts would have a devastating impact and promised a campaign of political pressure to try to turn voters against the plans.

“The union movement and the country face the sternest test in a generation,” TUC general secretary Brendan Barber will say in a speech to union groups in London. “Not only is the economy on its knees, not only is the law tilted against us, but we have a government in power that is making spending cuts of a speed, scale and savagery never before seen.”

Unions have called for “coordinated” action and suggested looking to the example set by their counterparts in France, which has seen violent protests against austerity measures.