U.K. Student Protests Set Example, Union Chief Says in Guardian

British students’ protests against the raising of university tuition fees must be emulated by labor unions if the government’s plans to make ordinary people pay for a crisis caused by bankers are to be stopped, said Len McCluskey, the general secretary-designate of Unite.

Writing in the Guardian, he said public-spending cuts, increased charges and job losses require the union movement to defend the welfare state and Britain’s industrial future.

Early in the new year, the Trades Union Congress will be holding a conference to discuss a “broad strike movement,” and though previous governments’ laws restricting union action were designed for just such occasions, “we must not let the law paralyze us,” McCluskey said.

A demonstration by the TUC on March 26 will be a key stage in developing union members’ willingness to take strike action in defense of jobs and services, the union chief said.

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