Up to 1,500 people joined an indoor anti-austerity rally in central London last Saturday organised by the Trade Union Coordinating Group (TUCG).
The group has organised a series of protests with others, including Unite the Resistance, at parliament recently over the Trade Union Bill.
However Saturday’s rally was more about making a pitch to unite behind the Labour Party, to defend the mandate of its new left leaders and fight Tory austerity.
As RMT union general secretary Mick Cash put it, “The whole movement needs to set aside its differences and unite – that’s why we’ve got to get behind Jeremy Corbyn.”
PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka and FBU union general secretary Matt Wrack announced they would soon be launching Trade Union Momentum.
Wrack said that this “could draw together left trade unions and left trade unionists” in an alliance that could fight to defend the Labour leadership and build a mass movement against austerity.
“It needs to be democratic and genuinely broad-based,”
CWU union Dave Ward urged the crowd to defend Corbyn from the Labour right – “Let’s make sure the Parliamentary Labour Party understand that Labour members voted for this.”
But Ward also called for a day of action from the TUC against the new anti-union legislation and “start talking about what we can deliver, not make excuses for what we can’t do”.
CND’s Kate Hudson urged people to use the opportunity to stop Trident in parliament next year and “give Jeremy Corbyn a win on nuclear weapons”.
Labour Shadow chancellor John McDonnell pledged to lead a national campaign against council cuts.
He argued that unjust anti-union laws should be defied and pledged full support for the junior doctors taking on Jeremy Hunt.
Disabled People Against Cuts (Dpac) activist Ellen Clifford attacked the Tories targeting of benefit claimants and disabled people.
She applauded the support Corbyn and Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell have given Dpac.
But she argued, “Disabled people don’t have another five years to wait for a Labour government. We have to unite, disobey and resist now.