9 September 2012
The delegates of giant public sector union Unison and the GMB, which has both public and private sector members, threw their weight behind the resolution proposed by the prison officers’ POA.
The TUC’s general council was split down the middle over the resolution at its meeting on Tursday 6 September, with 16 votes for and 16 against.
But the Unison and GMB delegates’ backing as the TUC congress gets under way in Brighton suggests momentum is now solidly behind the moves to consider an anti-austerity general strike.
The two unions are both more cautious than those such as the civil service PCS and teachers’ NUT that have spearheaded the anti-austerity campaign so far.
Both Unison and the GMB joined the mass strike over pensions on 30 November last year, but their leaders backed a poor deal with the government, just three weeks later.
The fact that they are now supporting moves towards a general strike signals a step forward for all those fighting austerity.