Unions plan national walkout

BRITAIN is facing another winter of discontent, after unions were urged to coordinate strike action and plan a series of national walkouts.

The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has called on public sector workers to down tools at the same time, in protest against swingeing cuts planned by the coalition government.

The union, run by militant general secretary Bob Crow, will issue the call to arms at the Trades Union Congress’ annual conference next month.

The RMT has tabled a motion calling for an immediate summit of union leaders to help plan coordinated strike action for maximum impact.

Crow will also urge delegates to form an alliance with users of public services, and to organise national protest days and a lobby of Parliament.

Crow said: “The TUC has to be the launch-pad for the fightback against the coalition government’s decision to launch all-out class warfare.”

He added: “Our defence must be built on generalised strike action and community resistance in the biggest public mobilisation since the anti-poll tax movement.”

If unions decide to back a series of national strike days, they will likely ballot members once the government has unveiled detailed cuts in a comprehensive spending review due this autumn. That would pave the way for a wave of strikes in the winter months.

Relations between the unions and the government are at breaking point, after David Cameron snubbed an invitation to appear at the TUC conference. The official line from Downing Street is that the dates conflict with his planned paternity leave, but it is said he feared an angry confrontation with delegates.