Tens of thousands say “No to Austerity, Yes to Workers’ Rights and Save Redcar Steel”

On Sunday the 4th of October, I joined my colleagues in the trade union movement as well as over 60,000 others on the streets of Manchester to rally and demonstrate saying no to austerity and yes to workers’ rights outside of Conservative Party Conference.

I had the pleasure of joining North West MPs like Angela Raynor, Councillors from across the region, Trade Unionists from Unite, Unison, Usdaw, the Bakers’ Union, the GMB and others, all of course good friends.

Not only were we treated to Billy Bragg singing live for the crowds gathered, but we had the opportunity to hear from Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC; Megan Dunn, President of NUS; Dave Prentis, General Secretary of Unison; Liz Snape, Chair of the TUC; John Hannett, General Secretary of Usdaw; Paul McCarthy, GMB North West Regional Secretary and Len McClusky, General Secretary of Unite.

A common theme ran through their speeches and many more that day. That theme was outrage at the Conservative Government’s reckless politics of austerity which are proving to be so very harmful to people across the UK.

As Paul McCarthy from the GMB said on the day, “We have more child poverty, food banks and deaths from WP assessments than we’ve ever had.  More people are homeless and council house building is non-existent with a Tory party who are bankrupt on social and economic policy.”

Dave Prentis of Unison went on to say that “Tax credit cuts will hit almost 3 million working low to middle income families and more than 5 million children, but still the Prime Minister refuses to accept that his government has got it wrong.

“But much worse is yet to come, with billions more due to be cut from public finances in the spending review later this year‎.”

The recklessness of David Cameron and his Government is truly shocking. They are not listening to the concerns of people across the UK, and instead have chosen to pursue their ideologically motivated policy of austerity. A policy of austerity that is clearly not working.

This Government has also failed to intervene to save thousands of steel workers’ jobs in Redcar. Labour is demanding that the Government step up and take action on steel.

That is why the Labour Party is working in opposition to this harmful agenda, and we will do everything in our means to take on this challenge, be it in Local Government, Parliament or the European Parliament.

I am proud to say that I stood in solidarity with my trade union colleagues to say No to Austerity and Yes to Workers’ Rights.