Published On: Fri, Oct 19th, 2012

Liverpool Unions gear up for London march

On Saturday the 20th the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is organising a protest through London under the slogan “a future that works.”

Unions are angry with the government over cuts to public services, the introduction of private sector providers to some areas of the public sector and changes to public sector pensions. Labour party leader Ed Miliband has signalled he will attend.

In a press release the TUC said “a particular focus of this year’s march will be trying to secure a better future for the UK’s young people, one million of whom are currently without work.”

Similar trade union protests against government austerity measures have taken place in other European countries this month, including Greece, Portugal and Spain.

Trade Union members from across Merseyside will be attending, including some members of University of Liverpool staff in the University and College Lecturers Union (UCU).

Liverpool Guild of Students said, in a statement signed by all four elected officers, that the organisation “wholeheartedly supports this march and believe that we should be standing getting together to express anger and discontentment with government policy towards employment and education.”

The National Union of Students is also backing the demo.

Cameron: “it is a fight we’ve got to win”

In his speech to the Conservative party conference this year Prime Minister David Cameron said “we say we’ve got to get the private sector bigger and the public sector smaller…our opponents call it ‘Tory cuts, slashing the state’. No: it’s the best way to create the sustainable jobs people need.”

Referring to the debate over the economy, schools and welfare Mr Cameron said “it is a fight we’ve got to win, for our party and our country.”

He also attacked the economic ‘Plan B’ proposed by Labour and the TUC, saying it would “hurt the economy” and “squander the sacrifices we’ve already made.”

George Osborne’s proposal at conference for workers to swap employment rights for shares and Michael Gove’s accusation that teaching unions are “holding back” children at school have increased animosity between the party and unions in recent weeks.

Banner dropped by University of Liverpool students on “march for the alternative” last year

“We don’t have the illusion that a march round London will stop the cuts”

University of Liverpool Against Fees & Cuts, an activist group backing the demonstration, said in a statement “We don’t have the illusion that a march round London will stop the cuts.

“But the march is a chance to get organised and build up momentum that was lost since the sell-out of the 2.5m strong strike of Nov 2011. With the government attempting to divide different sections of society (public/private, employed/unemployed, migrants/non-migrants etc) it is vital we march together.”

“A future that works” is the second march the TUC has called against government economic policy.

Last year “march for the alternative” was attended by between 250,000 and 500,000 people, and was followed by large coordinated one day strikes against pension reforms.

The last march received considerable media attention over vandalism around Piccadilly by a group  employing “black bloc” tactics and the controversial arrest of around 200 activists from UKUncut who occupied high-end department store Fortnum and Mason over its tax arrangements.

You can follow social media reports and views on the demonstration by using the #oct20 tag on twitter.

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- James is a 4th year geology student from Cumbria. He likes hill walking, rocks and punk music. Send me any stories or events, particularly anything happening on campus or locally, to news@liverpoolstudentmedia.com