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UNIONS last night warned of coordinated strikes and campaigns of civil disobedience to fight the Government's spending cuts amid revelations that more than 200,000 public sector jobs have already been axed or are at risk of being lost.

Councils, health authorities, police forces, Government departments and other public sector bodies across the country have all taken an axe to jobs in recent months after having their budgets slashed.

One leader warned that coordinated industrial action was "inevitable" as the TUC prepared to drawn up a campaign of protests against the Government when its annual congress opens in Manchester tomorrow.

Delegates will be asked to support joint union industrial action as well as other forms of protest, with a national demonstration being planned for next March which could attract hundreds of thousands of people in the biggest show of public anger in a generation.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union, said a campaign of civil disobedience was needed to fight spending cuts.

"Maybe we need Batman climbing up 10 Downing street, Spider-Man on Buckingham Palace as part of peaceful demonstrations of civil disobedience.

"This is an opportunity for the entire trade union movement to come together and mobilise support.

"Unions should also link up together because we are confronting the same enemy otherwise they will be picked off one at a time."

He even suggested that people could sit down on roads to highlight their opposition to cuts.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union said industrial action was "inevitable", adding that unless unions worked together to fight back the future was "bleak".

"Over 100,000 civil service jobs have been cut over the past six years and we are now being hit by closures and cuts even as the sword of Chancellor George Osborne hangs in the air."

Mr Serwotka said the cuts will be on a totally different scale after next month's comprehensive spending review, adding: "We ain't seen nothing yet.

"People are very worried and demoralised and are just waiting for things to get worse."

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said unions would be reaching out to the wider community to form a "progressive alliance" to make the case for an alternative to spending cuts.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 13, 2010
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