Dudley strikers join minimum wage demo
"THIS SHOULD be a march of tens of thousands. "Instead it is really disappointing, and all because our union, UNISON, did not want to embarrass New Labour so close to a general election."
So said a member of Bolton UNISON last Saturday as 1,000 people joined a national UNISON march calling for a decent minimum wage. Everyone enjoyed the march, but it was a terrible waste of what was possible. The size of the march bore no relation to the depth of anger people feel over low pay.
Jimmy Gough, a passenger transport shop steward in Manchester, told Socialist Worker, "Everyone should have a right to a decent standard of living. Britain is the fourth richest country in the world, but a quarter of the population live below the poverty line.
"Too many jobs are poorly paid and part time. We want proper jobs and proper pay." And 16 year old Ellie Greenshields said, "I came because young people deserve the same rate as everybody else."
DUDLEY hospitals workers were due to begin another three-week strike this week against a Private Finance Initiative scheme. The scheme will mean job and bed cuts. The strikers planned a May Day rally and are inviting supporters to join them at 7.30pm on Thursday 3 May at the Pensnett Welfare and Social Club, Commonside, Pensnett, near Dudley.
- Send messages of support and donations to UNISON, Wordsley Hospital, Stourbridge, West Midlands D78 5QX. Phone 07970 788 873.