British unions vote for strikes against austerity cuts

The opening session of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) was dominated by angry attacks on Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition, which took power in May and plans deep public sector cuts to tackle a record deficit.

Cameron leads a “demolition government” which will make Britain a “darker, brutish, more frightening place,” TUC chief Brendan Barber said, as delegates backed joint industrial action and a national campaign to argue against cuts.

Bob Crow, the firebrand leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT) which represents around 80,000 people, spoke for strikes, saying the unions would be “fools not to call major action.”

“If we stand together, we fight and win and if we don’t fight and we become divided, we lose,” he told the audience in Manchester, northwest England, to loud applause.

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