29/11/11

Commenting ahead of the strike action planned for Wednesday 30th November, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

“The OBR’s economic forecast and continued global uncertainty prove once again that strike action is irresponsible and reckless. Trade unions are living in a bubble and ignoring the fact that Britain has to make its way in a competitive world.

“It’s true that low growth and austerity measures are affecting peoples’ lives across Britain, public- and private-sector alike. But these measures are essential to maintaining our fiscal credibility and helping to stabilise the economy. Few people are likely to see significant real earnings growth over the next couple of years*, and every sector of the economy will have to shoulder some of the pain.

“Businesses are doing everything they can, working flat out to make sales, attract orders, retain valued staff and deliver growth. For some workers to walk out over acceptable changes to a generous pension scheme while others are busting a gut to get the economy moving is a big mistake.

“Some commentators see strike action as a victimless crime. Tell that to the major companies forced to shut down, the parents who can’t get childcare and miss out on a day’s pay, those people that can’t get to work, and the small companies that lose out on a day’s takings.

“The world is also watching. If strikes leave passengers marooned on planes at Britain’s airports because there are no immigration officers to process them, our reputation as a destination for global investment will be further tarnished.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

*OBR forecast pg 9 “Earnings growth is not expected to overtake inflation again until 2013, and not by a significant margin until 2014.”

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people.

Media contacts:

Liz Larvin
Tel: 020 7654 5813 / 07825746812
Email: l.larvin@britishchambers.org.uk

Lisa Morrison
Tel: 020 7654 5812 / 07717682221
Email: l.morrison@britishchambers.org.uk