By politics.co.uk staff
The TUC is planning its largest ever demonstration next March to fight the government's deficit reduction plan.
Addressing the Greater London Association of Trades Councils at Congress House, general secretary Brendan Barber said trade unionists had to unite to fight public spending cuts.
"The union movement and the country face the sternest test in a generation," he said.
"The impact of this brutal, ideological and cripplingly unfair austerity will be truly devastating. Not just on the services that millions rely on nor on the lives and livelihoods of so many dedicated public servants, but on the very glue that holds our complex, diverse and multicultural society together.
"So let's start campaigning and mobilising for our national demonstration against the cuts next Spring in London's Hyde Park on Saturday 26 March. Together let's make that mobilisation the biggest, boldest and best event in our history."
Activists have been galvanised by the impact of mass industrial and political action in France, as opponents of the president's plans to raise the retirement age take their campaign to the streets.