Olympics threatened by strike action

Written on:February 29, 2024
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To voice their protest against the government’s policies, public sector employees may strike as a weapon to disrupt the upcoming Olympic Games, the chief of Britain’s largest union warns The Guardian in an interview.

The leader of Unite, Len McCluskey, threatened that unless a disputed pay deal over the Olympics is resolved quickly, the union might go for strike during the Olympics.

Another issue the union is pressing hard involves the proposed pension cut in the public sector and even though some unions have already stepped back, the labour union is not going to let it go by easily, McCluskey said, warning that opposition may come in forms of “different protest and action”.

Terming the government’s motive as “deep and ideological”, the union boss also said any attempt by the government to amend the anti-strike legislation would be dealt with as intentional violation of the law.

McCluskey also lashed out at the recent healthcare reforms which the union believes are against public interest and should be scraped. He urged other unions as well as the general population to protest against the privatisation of the NHS.

Strikes during the Games could send the message out to the world that not everything in Britain is “nice and rosy”, he said.

“The Olympics will clearly come into play” when the staff at London Overground, Network Rail and Virgin Trains sit together to weigh up what they are getting out of their deal with the government, McCluskey threatened, adding that 28,000 bus drivers representing Unite are also angered over payment issues during the Games.

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