Trade unions could stage industrial action to disrupt the Olympic Games as part of their campaign against Government cuts, the leader of Britain's largest union has said.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said that no precise plans have been drawn up for action during the London Games, but added that they "absolutely" could include strikes. And he called on the public to engage in "civil disobedience" to defend public services during the fortnight of sport, which kicks off on July 27.
Conservative co-chairman Baroness Warsi said she was "shocked" by the Unite leader's comments and called on Labour leader Ed Miliband to "order" him to rule out disrupting the Olympics.
In an interview with The Guardian, Mr McCluskey was asked whether his union had discussed the possibility of strikes during the Olympics.
He replied: "Absolutely, yes. The attacks that are being launched on public sector workers at the moment are so deep and ideological that the idea the world should arrive in London and have these wonderful Olympic Games as though everything is nice and rosy in the garden is unthinkable. Our very way of life is being attacked."
Mr McCluskey said his union had not yet discussed "the specifics" of how workers could target the Olympics, but said that London bus drivers would be "examining what leverage points we have, and the Olympics will clearly come into play".
He added: "Now nobody has made any decisions yet and, of course, it would be nice if we were able not to disrupt such a prestigious event as the Olympics. But by the same token, people have to understand that we are fighting for our heritage here."
"Our parents and our grandparents, having defeated fascism in Europe, came back determined to build a land fit for heroes. They gave us the welfare state, the National Health Service, universal education.
"All of that is being attacked. I, for one, am not prepared to stand by and have my children or grandchildren say to me: 'What did you do when this was being taken away from us? When you say what can we do, and the likes of the Olympics, I'm calling upon the general public to engage in civil disobedience."
Responding to his comments, Lady Warsi said: "I am shocked that Unite would sink so low as to spoil this great national event for everyone else. Ed Miliband must urgently order his union cronies to rule out disrupting the Olympics."