Some 65 people attended Plymouth TUC’s Fight the Cuts meeting on Thursday of last week.
The lively meeting voted unanimously to set up a Plymouth branch of the Right to Work Campaign, and to resurrect Plymouth Fightback Against the Cuts.
It also decided on an impressive programme of activity.
This includes organising transport to the protest at the Tory conference on
3 October, protesting outside a meeting of Plymouth council on 11 October, protesting on 20 October, the day of the spending review, and a mass demonstration in the city on 30 October.
People from a variety of trades unions and other campaigns came along.
Tony Staunton, secretary of Plymouth TUC, set the tone when he said, “The government wants to send us back to Victorian times, dividing us into the deserving and undeserving poor.
“We need a realistic view of the task we face—but we know we can win.”
Suzy Franklin from the Unison Health branch at Derriford Hospital said the Tories wanted to privatise the NHS.
“Handing over budgets to GPs will take services out of public control,” she said. “The private health sharks are circling.”
Nick Quirk from the RMT union explained how the cuts were affecting local transport services—with job cuts and routes axed.
Other trade unionists denounced the cuts as “completely unnecessary and ideologically driven” and called for joint action by unions “up to and including a general strike”.
Sue Dann, Labour councillor for Moor View ward, told the meeting that she “supported the campaign to fight the cuts”.
And 90 year old Patrick Ryan, honorary president of Plymouth TUC, said that he “felt more positive that we would win than at any time in his life”.