UB40 band members Brian Travers and Jimmy Brown spoke out against unemployment at a Birmingham Against the Cuts press conference on Wednesday.
The press conference called on as many people as possible to join the TUC protest against the cuts this Saturday. It also highlighted rising unemployment in Birmingham, which now stands at 1 in 10— the title of a song by the band in 1981.
The band were joined by trade unionists, councillors and anti-cuts activists.
Unemployment in the West Midlands stands at 9.9 percent—that’s 265,000 people out of work, an increase of 27,000 in the last three months.
Caroline Johnson, assistant secretary of Birmingham Unison announced that the union has 18 coaches going to the demonstration on Saturday.
She said that Birmingham City Council’s plan to sack 7,000 workers as part of their budget cuts must be opposed.
Birmingham Unison is preparing to ballot its members in the coming weeks for industrial action against the cuts.
Other speakers included Birmingham Council Labour group leader Albert Bore, Tony Conway from the PCS and Mary Pearson from the NUT.
Jimmy Brown from UB40 closed the press conference saying that “a massive injustice is taking place”—because working people didn’t create the crisis, but will be expected to pay for it.
There are now over 40 coaches heading to London on Saturday from Birmingham, with more being added daily.
Assemble 11am, Saturday 26 March, Victoria Embankment, central London