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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Colère des syndicats britanniques

by Peter Avis

The Anger of British Unions

Translated Monday 24 September 2012, by Harry Cross and reviewed by Henry Crapo

At the opening of its annual conference, the TUC has denounced austerity as a causal factor of economic recession.

Brighton, UK, correspondence. It was one of the more unexpected moments of the Paralympic Games: The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne was booed by eighty-thousand people. Osborne, the right-hand man of Prime Minister David Cameron, is considered the architect of the policies of austerity that blight the United Kingdom and drag it into deeper and deeper recession.

The fight back throughout the country against these unpopular measures of austerity will be at the heart of the conference of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) which opened in Brighton yesterday. Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, one of the largest unions in the country, is to put forward a proposal for coordinated strikes against austerity, in defence of public services and in favour of a significant increase in the national minimum wage.

Natalie Bennett, the new leader of the Greens (a party which hopes to replace the Liberal Democrats as the third largest in the country), declared on Friday, at the Green Party Conference, her support for the unions. She added “decades of neoliberalism, privatisation and support for the welfare of multinational companies rather than for the welfare of people, as championed first by Labour and now by the Coalition, have failed to deliver even the basics of a decent life to millions in what is still, after all, the world’s sixth-richest economy.”

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