Socialist Worker

March for jobs in Birmingham on 16 May

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2150

Workers from across Britain will be descending on Birmingham on Saturday 16 May to join the Unite union’s national march for jobs.

It will be a crucial event in the growing fightback against attempts to make workers pay the price for the recession.

Dave Osborne, the national officer of Unite’s automotive group, told Socialist Worker, “We’re expecting a large turn-out on the day. The union is working extremely hard around the march. We’re laying on coaches and trains from all the outlying regions.

“People from outside the union understand the importance of the campaign and are promising their support.

“There have been significant job losses and short time working in the car and components industries over the last few months.

“The union is reaching out to all groups.”

Gwyneth Powell-Davies, the secretary of the Bristol Unite health service branch, said, “Health workers know that there are public spending cuts coming, which will have an impact on jobs and services in the NHS.


“Many people in the branch are related to those losing their jobs. In Bristol the Royal Sun Alliance insurance firm has sacked 500 people.

“So a number of people from the branch are going to the demonstration to meet up with other groups of workers fighting for jobs – their example will be useful to us.”

The NUT teachers’ union backed the march at its recent national conference and rank and file members are filling coaches from across the country, including Bristol, Gwyneth reports.

Dave Sherry, a Unite branch secretary in Glasgow, said, “There is transport going to Birmingham from across Scotland. There are coaches from Edinburgh, the Borders and Glasgow.

“Unite is keen to make links with local unemployed people. We are going to go out and leaflet to try to get them to come along.”

Lecturers in higher education in the UCU union are balloting for national action over job losses across the sector. The UCU in London has voted to put on a 71-seater coach for members.

Richard McEwan, the UCU Tower Hamlets College Poplar branch secretary, said, “Colleges and universities are facing deep cuts in courses and jobs alongside attacks on lecturers’ pay. We want to go to Birmingham to demand decent education and jobs for all.”

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Article information

Tue 5 May 2009, 18:31 BST
Issue No. 2150
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