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Strikes On The Way In The Public Sector

As more than 800,000 public sector workers voted for an escalating series of stoppages there are real concerns that the worst case scenario, a summer of discontent, could materialise in the UK. While talk of sustained industrial action in the UK has been doing the rounds for some weeks it looks as though a number of 2 day strikes will be announced fairly soon.

The strike action would bring council services throughout the UK to a stand still and there are concerns that there may be danger to life in some exceptional circumstances with emergency services possibly suffering. The unions have rejected a pay deal which was quoted at just under 2.5% believing that this rate does not even keep members up with inflation.

The unions do have a point as inflation is set to breach 4% later this year and a 2.5% pay rise would mean a fall of 1.5% in real terms. If you look at just food price inflation some are suggesting this is much higher than the widely quoted 4% figure.

All in all it seems that Gordon Brown will have to give the unions concessions to avoid industrial action which would bring the country to a standstill. However he needs to find a balance between the needs of the country, workers and the threat of inflation. Not a simple task at all!

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