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STRIKE DAYS RISE A series of strikes by public sector unions has led to a big rise in the annual number of working days lost through industrial action.

A total of 788,000 working days were lost in 2014, up 75% on the previous year, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The figure is higher than the average for both the 2000s and 1990s, and is the second highest figure for the past 25 years.

It is still far below the average for the 1980s, however, and a long way behind the post-war record of 27.1m days in 1978.

The Government this week unveiled plans to tighten the rules on strike ballots, including a requirement for a turnout of at least 50% of union members to authorise action.

LOANS WARNING Guarantor loans are saddling friends and relatives with "mountains of debt" and are potentially just as damaging as payday loans, a charity has warned.

Citizens Advice said those put forward as a guarantor on behalf of a borrower were unknowingly signing up to guarantee expensive loan repayments, and being pursued in the case of default or arrears.

The charity's report, A Problem Shared, said 43% of guarantors who sought help from Citizens Advice were unsure of the extent of their responsibilities.

It also highlighted that guarantors could still be liable to pay off a debt even if the borrower had died, and warned that guarantors were not regarded as "customers" by regulators, therefore missing out on basic protections most debtors would receive.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 17, 2015
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