Army used as 'strike breakers'

After the Army’s successful role in the Olympic Games when troops were drafted in to help G4S to provide security, the Prime Minister wants the Forces to fill in routinely for striking workers according to a report in the Times.

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Who is the new TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady?

  • In 1997, she was appointed to head up the New Unionism campaign and launched the TUC's Organising Academy.
  • Frances went on to head up the TUC’s organisation department in 1999. She was appointed Deputy General Secretary in 2003.
  • She will become the TUC's first female general secretary when she takes over from Brendan Barber at the end of the year.

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New TUC leader vows 'to fight back against cuts'

The new leader of the TUC has pledged to "reach out, campaign and fight back more" as workers and families struggle under the Government's austerity measures.

TUC leader Frances O'Grady Credit: Johnny Green/PA Archive

Frances O'Grady, who succeeds Brendan Barber as general secretary at the end of the year, said she will make sure governments and political parties do not take unions for granted.

TUC demands action over pensions

Delegates at the Brighton conference will argue today that as life expectancy increases and state and occupational pension ages rise, fewer workers enjoy a healthy retirement.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Officials will criticise the rise in the state pension age to 68 and warn that this could increase, forcing people to work longer.

The conference will press the TUC to co-ordinate campaigns against cuts in pensions and is expected to call for new research which can be used to show that "working longer means living less".

Calls will also be made for an independent commission into the state pension age and early retirement age.

Pensions will be a focus of marches being held on October 20 against the Government's austerity measures.

Unions to call for pensions probe

Union leaders are poised to support the commissioning of new research on pensions as part of a campaign against longer working and cuts in payments.

The TUC Congress will debate "attacks" by the Government and private firms on pensions, which has sparked a long-running dispute in the public sector.

Army could be deployed as 'strikebreaker' during national walkouts

The troops were deployed successfully during the Olympic Games Credit: John Stillwell/PA Wire

After the Army’s successful role in the Olympic Games when troops were drafted in to help G4S to provide security, the Prime Minister wants the Forces to fill in routinely for striking workers.

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Unions pledge to fight back like 'roaring lions'

The TUC conference has supported a move to consider the practicalities of a General Strike as part of co-ordinated action against the coalition's policies.

Steve Turner, assistant general secretary of Unite, told the TUC conference in Brighton:

We are at our best fighting back, roaring like lions, not cowering in corners.

Steve Gillan, leader of the Prison Officers Association, which proposed the idea, said there had to be a "robust" response. He added:

It does not mean we will have a General Strike tomorrow, but we should have that in our armoury, because this Government is not afraid or embarrassed to do what it is doing to society.

We need to make up our mind which direction we are going in, and we should not be afraid to mention the words General Strike.

Unions divided over General Strike motion

The unions which spoke in favour of a motion calling for a General Strike at the TUC conference in Brighton were:

  • Prison officers (proposed the motion).
  • Transport workers union RMT (seconded the motion).
  • Public sector and commercial workers union PCS
  • The Communication Workers Union
  • Student accommodation union Unite

The unions which opposed the motion from the conference stage were:

  • Professionals union Prospect
  • Teachers union NASUWT
  • Educational professionals union ATL
  • Pilots union BALPA
  • Shopworkers' union Usdaw

Ed Balls shrugs off heckling at TUC conference

Ed Balls shrugged off the reaction to his speech and went on to point out that Chancellor George Osborne got an unwelcome reception at the Paralympics. Speaking as he went head to head with Mr Osborne during Treasury questions in the Commons, Mr Balls said:

It's one thing to be heckled by a few trade union delegates at a conference this morning, it's another thing to be booed by 80,000 people - the whole of the Olympic Stadium - when you've only turned up to give out a medal.

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