Bloomberg News

Osborne Warns U.K. Unions of Damage From General Strike

April 19, 2013

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne warned labor unions against taking coordinated action against spending cuts that would risk damaging the U.K. economy.

Osborne was reacting to discussions among unions about the possibility of a general strike to protest Prime Minister David Cameron’s austerity measures.

“What we want to do is avoid self-inflicted wounds like the call for coordinated strike action,” Osborne told reporters in Washington today. “Those responsible in the trade unions should think twice about calling for coordinated strike action at a time when our economy is recovering.”

The General Council of the Trades Union Congress, an umbrella body for 6.2 million organized workers, will meet April 24 to continue talks about coordinated action, a spokesman said by telephone.

Unite, which has 1.5 million members, has proposed a 24- hour general strike, while Unison, which represents 1.3 million public-sector workers, would consider joining the action as a tactic that could be used at the end of a campaign of other action, it said April 4.

To contact the reporters on this story: Thomas Penny in London at; Gonzalo Vina in Washington at

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

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