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Gordon Brown risks the wrath of union supporters

Gordon Brown this morning stands accused of abandoning his union background as he declares the wildcat strikes sweeping across the UK as "not defensible". While there is no doubt that officially the wildcat strikes are illegal, without a voting procedure and chance for employers to consider the situation, there had been hopes that the government would show some support for the plight of UK workers.

It would appear that unions had already warned the government that such action was a serious threat some time ago, but these warnings seem to have gone unheeded. When the economy was in boom time there was little friction between foreign and domestic workers but with UK employment set to top 3 million over the next 12 months problems have started to appear. While the UK government has appointed the conciliation service ACAS to address the situation, it looks as though the unions (the main supporters of the Labour Party) could well be cut adrift on this particular issue.

The relationship between the unions and the Labour Party, a link which goes back many decades, has never been as strained as it is today and there are serious concerns about future funding issues for the Labour Party. Unless the unions see sustained support for their cause the relationship between the two parties could get worse.

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