By Claire West

Unite's joint general secretary, Derek Simpson said:

"Rising prices plus public sector cuts is the ConDem double whammy for working people.

"The double threat of inflation and brutal cuts to public services, sure to send unemployment soaring, is a poisonous mix for Britain's economy. Workers will struggle to keep up with the cost of basic necessities while the ConDems attack Britain's public services.

"Unite expects employers who can afford fair wage increases not to use the overall economic picture as an excuse to squeeze workers' pay. Over the last two years employees across the private sector have made sacrifices to help keep their companies in business. Workers at BAA are a prime example where Unite was forced to hold an industrial action ballot to get the parties back around the table to negotiate a fair settlement that the company could have afforded to agree months ago, sparing the public much anxiety."