The RMT union, which was jointly responsible for recent strikes on the London Underground, has called for the Trades Union Congress to call a summit at which union bosses will attempt to coordinate a wave of strikes to protest the coalition government's cuts.

The TUC is currently holding its annual conference and is focused fully on how best to challenge the cuts of the government, which it says will harm the poorest in society most.

In a motion to the TUC, the RMT called for the strike summit and also for a "broad alliance against the cuts" and the organisation of a national demonstration. The RMT said the TUC should also "present a clear alternative to cuts including public ownership, higher rates of tax for the rich, closing corporate tax loopholes and scrapping Trident replacement."

Bob Crow, General Secretary of the RMT, said, "The TUC has to be the launch-pad for the fight back against the coalition Government's decision to unleash all out class warfare through their unprecedented attack on our communities, public services, welfare state and transport system. Our defence must be built on generalised strike action and community resistance in the biggest public mobilisation since the anti-poll tax movement.

"RMT is in no doubt that the government is using the deficit as a thinly veiled cover to engage in an ideological dismantling of the state and an attack on workers, and the most vulnerable in our society, which goes far further than even the dark days of Thatcher. The true scale of that attack will become clear this autumn.

"As well as setting out plans for our own co-ordinated industrial and community action we also send a message of solidarity to our comrades in France, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and elsewhere who are fighting similar cuts to jobs, standards of living and public services."

Mr Crow also said that unions could launch a "civil disobedience" campaign, echoing the words of Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi, who was prominent in the campaign for Indian independence from the British Empire and was a great exponent of civil disobedience.