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Sep 14, 2011

UK unions set stage for pension strikes

LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Unions representing millions of
British workers gave notice on Wednesday of ballots on a series
of one-day national strikes this autumn if the government fails
to properly negotiate on higher contributions for public sector
pensions.

The country’s three biggest unions, Unite, Unison and the
GMB joined forces to say they would immediately consult members
about coordinated action in November, threatening the biggest
strikes in decades.

Sep 14, 2011

Government warned not to tighten union laws

LONDON (Reuters) – Any move by the government to tighten British strike laws would be strongly resisted by unions and may unleash a wave of unofficial walkouts by frustrated workers, a top union official told Reuters in an interview.

Trades Union Congress (TUC) chief Brendan Barber warned the government that any new legislation to curb the right to strike would be hugely provocative and vigorously opposed by the entire labour movement.

Sep 14, 2011

Miliband says strike threats over pensions a “mistake”

LONDON (Reuters) – Striking over public-sector pension reforms in the middle of government talks is wrong and would be an admission of “failure”, Labour Party leader Ed Miliband warned trade unions on Tuesday.

Addressing a meeting of union leaders at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) conference in London, Miliband said he understood why unions were so angry over increases in pension contributions and public-sector cuts but said talks must be given a chance.

Sep 13, 2011

Refile-UPDATE 1-UK strike threats over pensions a “mistake”-Labour

LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Going on strike over British
public-sector pension reforms this autumn in the middle of
government talks is wrong and would be an admission of
“failure”, opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband warned
trade unions on Tuesday.

Addressing a meeting of union leaders at the Trades Union
Congress (TUC) conference in London, Miliband said he understood
why unions were so angry over increases in pension contributions
and public-sector cuts but said talks must be given a chance.

Sep 13, 2011

UK strike threats over pensions a “mistake”-Labour

LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Striking over British
public-sector pension reforms this autumn in the middle of
government talks is wrong and would be an admission of
“failure”, opposition Labour Party leader Ed Milliband warned
trade unions on Tuesday.

Addressing a meeting of union leaders at the Trades Union
Congress (TUC) congress in London, Milliband said he understood
why unions were so angry over pensions increases and
public-sector cuts but said talks must be given a chance.

Sep 11, 2011

UK unions threaten showdown over austerity cuts

LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Britain’s coalition government
must abandon harsh public-sector spending cuts and tax rises
that are hurting millions of workers and risk tipping the
economy back into recession, the country’s top union official
said on Monday.

Brendan Barber, head of the Trades Union Congress (TUC),
said the Conservative-led coalition had started an
ideologically-based austerity drive under the pretext of
eliminating a record budget deficit.

Sep 9, 2011

Government risks provoking strikes-union boss

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain faces widespread strikes this autumn if ministers fail to move over public pension reforms and ditch spending cuts, the top union official said on Friday, calling the government’s austerity drive a “programme of self-harm.”

Trades Union Congress (TUC) General Secretary Brendan Barber said the Conservative-led coalition government had to be more flexible in negotiations to avoid a head-on confrontation.

Sep 9, 2011

British govt risks provoking strikes-union boss

LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Britain faces widespread strikes
this autumn if ministers fail to move over public pension
reforms and ditch spending cuts, the top union official said on
Friday, calling the government’s austerity drive a “programme of
self-harm.”

Trades Union Congress (TUC) General Secretary Brendan Barber
said the Conservative-led coalition government had to be more
flexible in negotiations to avoid a head-on confrontation.

Sep 8, 2011

Unions say millions may strike over pension reform

LONDON (Reuters) – Millions of public sector workers could stage a one-day strike in November if the government did not negotiate over plans to hike pension contributions, a union leader said on Thursday.

Mark Serwotka, secretary-general of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, said his executive had unanimously agreed to call a day of protest on a date to be agreed with other public sector unions.

Sep 6, 2011

Broken prison system to blame for UK riots: minister

LONDON (Reuters) – Nearly 75 percent of adults charged in last month’s riots in England were known criminals with prior convictions, a government minister said on Tuesday, blaming a broken justice system for creating a “feral underclass” of repeat offenders.

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said the worst riots in a generation showed the urgent need to reform a penal system with a “straightforwardly dreadful” record of rehabilitating inmates.