Bloomberg News

Unite Members Vote to Join Nov. 30 Strike Over U.K. Pension Cuts

November 17, 2011

Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Members of Unite, the U.K.’s biggest labor union, voted to join strike action on Nov. 30 against curbs on public-sector pensions.

Seventy-five percent of workers in the National Health Service, civil service and local authorities backed the action on a turnout of 31 percent, the union said in a statement posted on its website today. Staff at the British Museum in London, Scottish Water and South Yorkshire Police also voted to back the action in separate ballots, the union said.

“Public-sector workers are telling the government that ‘enough is enough,’” Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey said in the statement. “They have endured wages cuts, rising living costs and horrific job losses as this government forces the less well off in this country to pay for the sins of the elite. They are not prepared to stomach this attack on their pensions too.”

Unions representing teachers, health workers and civil servants are planning strikes to protest plans to make government employees retire later, contribute more and receive less from their pensions. Ministers say the overhaul, part of Prime Minister David Cameron’s 80 billion-pound ($126 billion) program of spending cuts, is fair as the more than 5 million workers who contribute to public-sector pensions get benefits no longer available in the private sector.

--Editors: Eddie Buckle, Fergal O’Brien

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Penny in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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