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Cath Everett

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Unions may coordinate action against cuts

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The prospect of a general strike moved a step closer yesterday after the RMT union tabled a motion calling for co-ordinated industrial action in protest at the coalition government’s proposed public sector jobs and pension cuts.

 
The transport union’s motion will be heard at umbrella organisation the TUC’s Congress, which takes place from 13 to 16 September and sets out a blueprint for co-ordinated action by unions and community groups.
 
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “The TUC has to be the launch-pad for the fight back against the coalition government’s decision to unleash all out class warfare through their unprecedented attack on our communities, public services, welfare state and transport system. Our defence must be built on generalised strike action and community resistance in the biggest public mobilisation since the anti-poll tax movement.”
 
The budget cuts were a “thinly veiled cover” for the “ideological dismantling of the state”, which went even further than former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had dared, he added.
 
The RMT is calling on TUC members to convene an urgent conference of affiliates and representatives of users of public services to establish a “broad alliance” against the suggested cuts.
 
It wants to involve trades councils in organising a national demonstration, the lobbying of Parliament and national protest days, while coming up with clear alternatives to the proposed cuts. Such alternatives range from introducing more public ownership, higher tax rates for the wealthy, the closure of corporate tax loopholes and the scrapping of the Trident replacement.
 
Bank of England governor Mervyn King and acting Labour leader Harriet Harman are both scheduled to address the TUC Conference, which will comprise delegates from 58 trade unions, but for the first time in a decade there will be no representative from government after business secretary Vince Cable’s invitation was withdrawn last week.
 

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