Thousands of people will be taking to the streets of Birmingham on Sunday 3 October to protest against the Tories’ crazed slashing of jobs and public services. And there couldn’t be a better city to protest in.
Birmingham council, which is controlled by a coalition of Tories and Lib Dems, has told 26,000 workers that they will be sacked—unless they sign new contracts with worse conditions.
One of them is Peter Christie. He works at Handsworth leisure centre, where he is the local Unison union rep.
Peter told Socialist Worker, “We were in the middle of a consultation process when the council told us that we either accept wage cuts of up to £4,000 a year each or be made redundant.
“Everyone here is angry. On 20 October when the government’s spending review happens there will be with even more cuts. It has to stop somewhere.
“The council is also selling off our services. This leisure centre is being privatised and other services are facing the same—sell off or closure.
“These closures are destroying our community.
“This attack will hit the lowest paid hardest—while the government is cutting tax credits and housing benefit. How are we meant to survive?
“We have to make a stand.
“The message from the TUC is that the unions have to get together and fight.
“The government only cares about the rich—half of them are millionaires anyway. They wouldn’t know a hard time if it slapped them in the face.
“They don’t know what it’s like to have no money for milk or shoes for your kids.
“At the end of the day it comes down to class—the rich and the Tories don’t come from our class.
“That’s why I’ve been organising for the protest on Sunday 3 October.
“We have an alternative to the cuts—tax the rich, not attacking poor and the workers who keep our services running. There is a choice, the cuts aren’t necessary.
“We have to organise and fight now—if we don’t do it now there will be nothing left to fight for.”
Birmingham Sunday 3 Oct
Called by Right to Work, backed by CWU, ASLEF, UCU, pcs, NUJ unions and NUS
assemble 12 noon, Lionel Street, Birmingham B3 1a6