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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Unions divided over strike action at TUC conference

by - Deputy Political Editor

The NASUWT, the largest teachers' union in the UK which launched joint action with the National Union of Teachers yesterday, has opposed the motion for a General Strike at the TUC conference.

NASUWT general secretary, Chris Keates, said the action would risk alienating the public and would hand the coalition a "propaganda win".

Airline pilots union BALPA also said the General Strike motion was "not in our name" and risked "letting the genie out of the bottle".

But Labour's biggest fundraising union, UNITE, said it was "proudly talking support" of the motion.

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.

Ed Balls heckled at TUC over public sector pay freeze

The shadow chancellor has been booed and heckled by union delegates at the TUC conference over public sector pay restraint.

Ed Balls was questioned by a Unison delegate as to why he was supporting the Coalition's policy, which had led to a wage freeze for millions of public sector workers.

Mr Balls replied: "When you are losing hundreds of thousands of jobs, you cannot say the first priority is more pay for public sector workers."

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Ed Balls to tell TUC: 'We need action now on the economy'

Long-term damage will be done to the UK economy unless the Government changes course on economic policy, the shadow Chancellor will warn today.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls speaking earlier this year
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls speaking earlier this year Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The coalition's economic plan has failed, leaving businesses and families "crying out" for an alternative, Ed Balls will tell the TUC Congress in Brighton.

"Over 33,000 companies already gone bust since the general election. Investment plans cancelled, or diverted overseas. New ideas and new ventures being promoted in other countries.

"Our economy weaker and capacity lost and, above all, long-term youth unemployment becoming entrenched, damaging young lives and racking up costs which we will all have to pay.

"Not short-term pain for long-term gain, but short-term pain causing long-term damage as we pay a long-term price for this Government's economic failure.

"That is why we need action now, a change of course and a plan for jobs and growth: investing in infrastructure, building new homes and getting young people back to work."

Labour leader: Strikes 'not wanted'

Labour leader Ed Miliband told union leaders that their members and the public did not want strikes, amid the growing prospect of industrial action against the Government's austerity measures.

Labour leader Ed Miliband says 'strikes not wanted'. Credit: Scott Heppell/PA Wire

Mr Miliband risked sparking an angry reaction at the TUC general Council in Brighton: "It's what's happening in our economy that makes so many people angry with the Government.

"The question is how best to get them to change course? The public doesn't want to see strikes. Nor do your members. Nor do you. The way to sort out the problems the country faces is for the government to understand why working people are so unhappy."

Ed Miliband warns unions over strike action

Labour leader Ed Miliband has warned union leaders that their members and the public do not want strikes. It comes amid the growing prospect of industrial action against the Government's cost-cutting measures. At a dinner with the TUC general Council in Brighton Mr Miliband is expected to say:

It's what's happening in our economy that makes so many people angry with the Government. The question is how best to get them to change course? The public doesn't want to see strikes. Nor do your members. Nor do you. The way to sort out the problems the country faces is for the government to understand why working people are so unhappy. It's because the economic plan is failing, it's unfair. They need to change before greater long-term damage is done.

– Ed Miliband MP, Labour leader

PM rejects union strike threats

The Prime Minister has said he will not change course in the face of threat of mass strikes over public sector pay, as calls for industrial action over the government's austerity programme dominated talks at a meeting of union leaders in Brighton.

Prime Minister David Cameron rejects strike threats. Credit: Lefteris Pitarakis/PA Wire

David Cameron's spokesman said: "We have put in place some changes to pensions. We do not intend to reopen those talks. And we have put in place a freeze of public sector pay for two years. Again, we do not intend to reopen that decision".

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