Guest Blog by Annette Wright, President, Manchester Trades Union Council
“I hope as many people as possible will join us on the march this Saturday. This will be a peaceful family event and it is not just for trade unionists but for everyone who opposes the government’s economic strategy which disproportionately increases the wealth of people who are already rich, at the expense of the rest of us.
I am a public sector worker. I understand the massive loss in living standards many of us have suffered under this government. Those of us who had a reasonable standard of living five years ago have seen the price of food, travel, rent and utilities rise far more than any salary increases we have received. Many more of us are yet to achieve a reasonable standard of living even though we spend our working lives keeping our society going.
As the president of the trades council I see how workers in the private sector are also struggling to manage at all under this government. Many people are trying to survive on zero hours contracts and on wages below the living wage.
As well as all this, many of us who are out of work are suffering terribly. A welfare benefit system which should provide a social security safety net, has turned into a system which is focussed on using public sector workers to withdraw money from people in need.
It is time for trade unionists to stand up against this government in any way we can, by striking for our rights, by protesting and by voting. The march on Saturday, which is supported by the TUC and major trade unions is a great opportunity for people in Manchester and around the North West to say we have had enough of the Tories’ austerity policies.”