Workers ranging from refuse collectors and school dinner ladies to architects were due to walkout for 24 hours in protest at controversial Government plans to raise their pension age from 60 to 65. But just as the Council workers were set to strike, the unions called off the action, after the Government backed down on its plans to make changes to the local government pension schemes.

It shows how the threat of direct action can achieve desired results. The only problem on this occasion is it only forced the Government back to the negotiating table.Time will tell if this is simply a ploy to delay matters until after an election.

Council workers need to be ready to take further action if it is needed. And putting the unions in a position of strength means not letting the bureaucrats throw it all away.

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