Trade union leaders representing thousands of social care workers are preparing to vote on possible industrial action in protest at the government’s spending cuts.
Unison and Unite, which represent more than 200,000 social care workers in the UK, have joined a coalition organised by the Trades Union Congress calling for co-ordinated action.
Union leaders have repeatedly raised concerns about the impact on workers and communities of the government’s policies to reduce the country’s £155bn budget deficit.
“Where members, faced with attacks on jobs, pay or pensions, take a democratic decision for industrial action, they will have the support of unions and the TUC stands ready to co-ordinate that,” said TUC general secretary Brendan Barber.
Delegates are debating a motion announced at this week’s TUC annual conference in Manchester calling for joint industrial action, which could lead to strikes if ministers do not reduce the scale of the cuts.
The news coincided with a letter to David Cameron and Nick Clegg from Unite members in social services showing the impact that local government spending cuts were having on provision.
They point out that the £1bn efficiency savings for 2010-11 are already hitting meals-on-wheels services and breakfast clubs, and are putting thousands of jobs at risk.
In East Ayrshire, 600 personal carers’ jobs hang in the balance, according to the letter, and 1,500 jobs at Birmingham Council’s children’s services look set to disappear.
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