“Ordinary people need to protest at the G20 summit of the world’s leaders to demand that they put people before profit and invest in jobs. We have to make sure that there’s a future for working people.”
So says Martin Copson, a senior shop steward in the Unite union at Corus steelworks in Scunthorpe. Corus has laid off thousands of workers already this year.
Martin says, “The people being affected aren’t the ones who caused the crisis – it’s ordinary workers and their families.
“We’re losing jobs that we’ll never get back. The leaders of the G20 are meeting in London at the end of this month, at the same time as the recession is devastating workers’ lives here and around the world.
“The government is wedded to the neoliberal agenda even now – any changes it talks about is just tinkering at the edges.”
The summit is bringing world leaders together in London to “coordinate actions to revive the global economy”. The protest on Saturday 28 March is organised by Put People First, a coalition of unions, charities and other groups.
It states, “Our future depends on creating an economy based on fair distribution of wealth, decent jobs for all and a low carbon future.”
Martin explains why Corus workers will be coming. “Corus has announced 3,500 job cuts even though the company made record profits last year. At our plant 93 jobs are going. There’s a lot of anger but there isn’t really the mood to fight at the top of the union – they seem to think job cuts are inevitable.
“We have to mobilise the trade union movement to show the government that we’re not just going to lie down and take it.
“Our union convenor has sent an email to all the shop stewards about the G20 march for jobs to say that there will be transport for people to go. We have to take the chance to fight for our futures.”