“Yes to workers’ rights” – thousands prepare to descend on Manchester
Coaches from all over the UK will be arriving in the city in time for the opening rally, which begins at 1pm. The march begins to assemble in Oxford Road from noon and at 1.30pm will move through the city on a route that circles the conference centre, ending at Deansgate / Whitworth St for coach pick ups.
The TUC has organised the national event to protest against five years of austerity, falling living standards, pay freezes and huge cuts to public services.
A TUC spokesperson said: “A new Parliament won’t offer a fresh start to working people and their families. The Conservatives’ new plan is an old plan – back to the future with more of the same.
“We were told that austerity measures were a necessary, short, sharp dose of medicine but five years later, the prescription is the still same: more plans to privatise public services, such as the NHS, the government telling hardworking people, such as midwives, teachers and transport workers, that they must work harder and longer, public servants’ pay frozen for four more years, threats to jobs in the public sector, plans to sell off social housing, cutting tax credits, disability benefits and help with the rent and the unfair targeting of young people.
“Trade unions have a proud tradition of standing up for workers, their families and the services everyone uses so now the government is threatening the right to strike.
“In the Trade Union Bill, they propose to make it harder for unions to take strike action to oppose their cuts. They want to make it harder for workers to speak out, allowing employers to use agency workers to break strikes and putting huge restrictions on pickets and protests. In short, they want to silence millions of union members and threaten their right to strike.
“So we all need to speak out now and tell the Conservatives that we say “No!” to austerity. And tell them that workers need a voice. That trade unions give workers a voice. And that instead of austerity, it’s a resounding “Yes!” to workers’ rights.”
- Read here how TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady thinks we can stop the TU Bill
- Read here to see why Labour MP Jo Stevens voted against the TU Bill
- Click here to book your coach travel to Manchester
- Click here to read about Billy Bragg’s gig in Manchester on Saturday night, together with details of nationwide protest gigs organised through We Shall Overcome
UnionNews will be live tweeting from the event on Sunday and reporting on Monday. Follow us at @Union_NewsUK