Britain’s largest trade union on Tuesday warned it would consider staging industrial action during this year’s London Olympic Games, threatening travel chaos for visitors.
Unite union general secretary Len McCluskey told the Guardian newspaper that the scale of the government’s public spending cuts meant that the showpiece games, which begin on July 27, were “absolutely” a legitimate target for strikers.
“The attacks that are being launched on public sector workers at the moment are so deep and ideological that the idea the world should arrive in London and have these wonderful Olympic Games as though everything is nice and rosy in the garden is unthinkable,” he said. “Our very way of life is being attacked.”
“I believe the unions, and the general community, have got every right to be out protesting,” he added. “If the Olympics provide us with an opportunity, then that’s exactly one that we should be looking at.”
McCluskey went on to say that no firm plans had been drawn up, but that London bus drivers were “examining what leverage points we have”.
Conservative Party co-chairman Baroness Warsi said she was “shocked” by the threat and demanded that Labour Party leader Ed Miliband speak out against the union boss.
“This is an appalling display of naked self-interest by Labour’s biggest financial backer,” said Warsi.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) on Tuesday raised the stakes in its dispute with Transport for London — the local government body responsible for most of London’s transport system — over staff pay during the games.
Many RMT members work for London’s underground train system, and any indication they could stage a walkout during the event would cause panic among games’ organisers.
Unite, which boasts 1.5 million members, was formed by a merger between two of Britain’s leading unions, the T&G and Amicus, and represents workers in various trades.
Unions claimed that two million public sector workers joined a strike in November last year over government plans to weaken their pension rights as part of its programme to reduce its budget deficit.
Millions around the world joined #ClimateStrike — demanding bold climate action
Masses of children skipped school Friday to join a global strike against climate change that teen activist Greta Thunberg said was "only the beginning" in the fight against environmental disaster.
Some four million people filled city streets around the world, organizers said, in what was billed as the biggest ever protest against the threat posed to the planet by rising temperatures.
Youngsters and adults alike chanted slogans and waved placards in demonstrations that started in Asia and the Pacific, spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America, before culminating in the United States where Thunberg rallied.
Trump announces new sanctions on Iran — and deploys US troops to the Middle East
The United States announced Friday that it was sending military reinforcements to the Gulf region following attacks on Saudi oil facilities that it attributes to Iran, just hours after President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions on Tehran.
Trump said the sanctions were the toughest-ever against another country, but indicated he did not plan a military strike, calling restraint a sign of strength.
The Treasury Department renewed action against Iran's central bank after US officials said Tehran carried out weekend attacks on rival Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, which triggered a spike in global crude prices.
Latest bombshell details Rudy Giuliani’s quid pro quo with Ukraine: ‘Your country owes it to us’
More details continue to come out about President Donald Trump's alleged extortion of Ukraine for campaign assistance.
The latest revelations came from a report published by The Washington Post Friday evening.
The newspaper flushed out the apparent quid pro quo Trump sought.
"When President Trump spoke on the telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in late July, the Ukrainians had a lot at stake. They were waiting on millions in stalled military aid from the United States, and Zelensky was seeking a high-priority White House meeting with Trump," the newspaper reported. "Trump told his Ukrainian counterpart that his country could improve its image if it completed corruption cases that have 'inhibited the interaction between Ukraine and the USA,' according to a readout of the call released by Kiev."