THOUSANDS of workers will take strike action today (wed) –as part of a dispute over plans to reform public sector pensions.
Schools will be closed, medical appointments cancelled and there are likely to be lengthy delays at ports and airports across the country.
Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds recognises that the action will inevitably cause inconvenience to constituents.
However he believes the action has been made necessary because of the Government’s refusal to engage in meaningful negotiations – refusing to negotiate on the planned three per cent increase that will e incurred by public sector workers.
Commenting in advance of today’s action Mr Reynolds said: "The disruption caused by the strike today will be significant – because the extraordinary contribution made by our public sector workers every day is so significant.
"The issue at the heart of this industrial dispute is the Government’s plans for public sector pension reform, which will leave many workers – some part-time, some low-paid – worse off.
"To resolve the dispute both the Government and the unions will have to give ground – but the strike is going ahead today because the Government signalled an end to meaningful talks.
"The Government’s refusal to negotiate on the proposed three per cent increase is unfair – and their presentation of a ‘final’ offer was provocative.
"Indeed workers in the Stalybridge and Hyde constituency have told me they are striking today for the first time. They don't want to strike - but they feel they have been left with no choice.
"The industrial action this week could have been avoided if meaningful negotiations had been ongoing.
"I now hope talks will restart as quickly as possible so the public sector unions have no need to repeat their strike action."
Published November 30, 2011