Boxing clever!

Unison’s belligerent Dave Prentis has declared war on the government even though he must realise that confrontation and strikes will only produce a Grecian dénouement.

There are clearly more creative ways of handling this crisis and the public service unions could take a lesson from the flexibility already shown in the private sector.

When the economy nosedived in 2008, many of our biggest companies introduced shorter hours, temporary plant closures or extended holidays, in return for lower wages.

As a consequence, they had to lay off far fewer employees and were better placed to respond to the up-turn.

A pay cut may be painful – and those iconic public sector pensions are certainly going to be trimmed – but it is surely not as painful as a redundancy notice.

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