Unions declare war against UK govt.
Tue, 03 May 2011 09:56:13 GMT
Britons have marked International Workers' Day with a huge rally in London to condemn the coalition's attacks on workers' rights and public services.
The demonstrators also used the opportunity on Sunday to condemn their government's actions against the Libyan people and its interference in the Middle East region, the daily Morning Star reported.
According to the report, demonstrators, including union leaders, communists and community activists, walked behind a large banner emblazoned with the slogan, 'Trade Union Rights, Human Rights, International Solidarity'.
In an address to the marchers, Unison union leader Dave Prentis told cabinet ministers to brace themselves for "industrial turmoil on a massive scale."
“Unions were determined to fight tooth and nail to defend public services. Unison will ballot one million members to strike to protect their pensions," he told the crowd in Trafalgar Square.
"This will not be a token skirmish, but a prolonged and sustained war, because this government has declared war on a huge proportion of the population," Prentis pointed out.
General Secretary of Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, Mark Serwotka also addressed the crowd.
"No government in living memory has sparked such unrest and opposition to its central economic policy in such a short space of time,” said PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.
"At least half a million people showed on March 26 that they were prepared to march for the alternative. We are now saying we must also be prepared to strike for it," he added.
General Secretary of National Union of General and Municipal Workers (GMB) union, Paul Kenny, was the other speaker at the May Day protest gathering in London.
The GMB general secretary urged the public to turn local elections on May 5 into a referendum against the coalition government's economic and social policies.
"Reject unemployment, poverty and cuts in public services by voting against Tory and Lib Dem council candidates on Thursday," he urged the crowd.
"We want voters to support curbs and controls on the excesses of the bankers and the elite, and for measures to grow the economy to get the unemployed back to work and paying taxes," Kenny added.