SATURDAY 18th OCTOBER saw tens of thousands of Trade Unionists on the streets of Belfast, Glasgow and London. They were protesting about pay and austerity.
The demonstrations – held under the slogan Britain Needs a Pay Rise – were organised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC). The largest march and demo was held in London where around 80,000 – 90,000 attended. The London demo was well supported by members of Wales TUC (TUC Cymru) who had chartered a train from Cardiff.
As Britain’s public services seem to be under direct attack from the Con-Dem Government, it came as no surprise that many teachers, civil servants, nurses and other NHS workers took part.
The three demonstrations followed public sector strikes earlier in the week.
According to TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady, the demos were held to highlight the fact that the “average worker is £50 a week worse off than in 2007 and five million earn less than the living wage…If politicians wonder why so many feel excluded from the democratic process, they should start with bread and butter living standards.”
Reflecting on the TUC demonstrations, a National Liberal Trade Unionist (NLTU) spokesman said:
“Cameron and Clegg should dump their austerity agenda. It’s not working. It punishes those who’re not responsible for Britain’s economic woes. Thousands of ordinary British workers are being paid a pittance – the ‘working poor’ – or thrown onto the scrapheap. At the same time, those who make up the elite are still making money hand over fist.
The recession was brought on by ‘casino capitalism’ – a mixture of greed and mistakes made by the bankers, ‘fat cats’ and speculators. If anyone should be punished it should be these wide boys and shysters.”
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