One of the largest British trade unions has warned that the government would face a new wave of strikes over pensions in 2012 amid fears that the persistence of economic and social problems could brew further unrest.
Brian Strutton, the National Secretary for Public Services at the 610,000-strong GMB, said unions have not yet agreed to the pensions deal offered by the government and some could start “kicking back” if the forced redundancies and pay caps continue to bite.
Strutton further warned that the massive strikes by the public sector unions that forced the government to allow them pensions concessions could inspire the private sector to turn to more aggressive measures to secure their demands.
The comments by Strutton come as there are fears the government's insistence on harsh austerity measures, mostly targeted at the youth, could backfire and bring about more “toxic results” similar to the massive August unrest that started in the north London Tottenham area and spread to rock the whole Britain.
Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy warned earlier this week that the current surge in social and financial problems could lead to more unrest across Britain.
“We need politicians of all political parties to attend to these issues or it could happen again,” Lammy said.
“What we saw in 2011 was not just a battle against the police: it was a battle within and across community,” he added.
Lammy further drew similarities between the 1985 race riots in Tottenham and the 2011 unrest saying it is a “catastrophe” to “have two riots in a generation” in a single area.
It is widely believed that the summer unrest that created a state of emergency in Britain has been rooted in poverty and deteriorating economic conditions.