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TUC to accuse Government of having ‘broken Britain’

The leader of the TUC will accuse the Conservatives of having “broken Britain”.

In his keynote speech to the TUC Congress in Liverpool, general secretary Paul Nowak will claim that “nothing works in this country anymore and no-one in Government cares”.

He will say: “They’ve had 13 years to sort out crumbling concrete in our schools, but five days before the new term they tell schools they can’t open.

“Because – and I quote the Education Secretary – everyone ‘sat on their arses’.

“Could you think of a more perfect metaphor for this Government? A crisis of their making, but someone else gets the blame.

“Yet, this Government that can’t keep our rivers clean, or run trains on time, or run a functioning NHS can find time to attack the right to strike.”

Mr Nowak attacked the controversial new law on strikes, which will be debated at the conference on Monday.

He will say: “The right to strike is fundamental. Without the right to withdraw our labour workers, become disposable, replaceable and exploitable.

“This new law isn’t about preserving services for the public.

“It’s about telling us to get back in our place and to not demand better.

“Well, that’s not going to happen – not on our watch.

“We fought their attack on the right to strike in parliament and we’ll fight it at the ILO (International Labour Organisation) and in the courts.

“When the first worker is sacked for refusing to work on a strike day, we’ll fight it in workplaces and on the picket lines.

“This movement will fight it every single day until it is repealed.”

The TUC is reporting the Government to the United Nations workers rights watchdog over the new law.

Mr Nowak said the union body would be lodging the case at the ILO because the legislation on ensuring minimum levels of service during industrial action “falls far short” of international legal standards.