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Are we seeing a return of strikes to the UK economy?

As news filters through of a potential 48 hour strike on the London tube next month, calls have been made by the RMT union for direct talks with Boris Johnson the Mayor of London. It is believed the dispute relates to a pay agreement which effectively sees the real salary of members fall over the next five years. As a consequence, Bob Crow, the general secretary of the RMT union, is looking at ways to avert the strike and bring in the new Lord Mayor.

After a relatively quiet period on the strike front, there are concerns that the unions will start to flex their muscles ahead of next year's general election in a show of strength to the Labour Party. We have seen a number of strikes over the last few months with regards to pay agreements as well as overseas workers but this may just be the tip of the iceberg. While it is inevitable, and fully expected, that unions will protect their member's benefits and prospects as much as possible in these difficult times, there appears to be little middle ground being given by employers or unions.

Unfortunately, the more strikes we see across the UK the greater the chance of further job cuts as profit margins come under pressure and companies need to reduce their cost bases.

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