Socialist Worker

Book your ticket for the 16 May jobs protest in Birmingham

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2148

Trade unionists across Britain are mobilising to make the Unite union’s national demonstration for jobs in Birmingham on Saturday 16 May the biggest possible protest against the recession’s impact on workers.

With just three weeks to go until the protest, everyone needs to step up the campaign to get people to Britain’s second city on the day.

Unite is Britain’s biggest union with over two million members. Ian Allinson, a Unite executive member, is urging workers to join this crucial demonstration, and get their workmates and friends there too.

He said, “Everyone who is angry about job losses, unemployment and the other effects of the recession should be demonstrating in Birmingham on 16 May. We can’t let the government and employers get away with making working people pay for a crisis we didn’t create.

“Unite in the north west of England has booked transport from Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Crewe and Wigan. This is now a priority for the union in the region.

“Lots of leaflets for the protest were distributed to people at a union regional meeting this week, and we are encouraging our members to attend.”

A Unite member in Birmingham told Socialist Worker that the mood in the city is building up. Local trade unionists are going all out to make it a huge demonstration against job losses, in a city being hit hard by the recession.

She said, “Trade unionists have been going to the big workplaces in the area to raise awareness about the importance of 16 May.

We’ve had a great response. Unite officials in the West Midlands are going to be working full-time to build the demonstration. The United Left group in the union has pledged to throw all its resources into it too.”

Other unions are also throwing their weight behind the demonstration and the fight for jobs. The recent NUT teachers’ union conference backed the 16 May demonstration.

Ken Muller from Islington NUT told Socialist Worker that his branch has booked a coach to the demonstration.

He said, “The best way to undermine attempts to divide public and private sector workers is for those of us in the public sector to build demonstrations such as this and to support disputes such as the struggle at Visteon.”

The march should be a focus for everyone who wants to fight for jobs, including the thousands of young people set to leave school, college or university this summer with no job to go to.

Posters and leaflets to help publicise the demonstration are now available to download from Unite’s website. Go to »

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Tue 21 Apr 2009, 18:29 BST
Issue No. 2148
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