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Posted on 20 October 2014 at 16:35 GMT

Video with interview of Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite the union, and Rob Williams, chair of the National Shop Stewards Network, NSSN.


On the march, TUC demo 18.10.14, photo by Naomi Byron

On the march, TUC demo 18.10.14, photo by Naomi Byron   (Click to enlarge)

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Top directors earn 175 times more than the average worker. TUC 'Britain needs a pay rise' demo, photo by JB

Top directors earn 175 times more than the average worker. TUC 'Britain needs a pay rise' demo, photo by JB   (Click to enlarge)

TUC 'Britain needs a pay rise' demo

Trade union contingents from all the major unions - and smaller ones - lined up along the Embankment to march as part of the TUC's 100,000-strong 'Britain needs a pay rise' demonstration on Saturday 18 October.

The demo was to condemn the on-going erosion of wages; on average 50 a week down in real terms since 2007.

GMB contingent marches under the Socialism 2014 banner on Jubilee bridge, photo by Dave Reid

GMB contingent marches under the Socialism 2014 banner on Jubilee bridge, photo by Dave Reid   (Click to enlarge)

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Unite contingent leads, TUC demo, 18.10.14, photo by JB

Unite contingent leads, TUC demo, 18.10.14, photo by JB   (Click to enlarge)

It followed a four-hour national NHS strike the previous Monday and a national PCS strike of civil servants on the Wednesday.

RMT contingent, TUC demo, 18.10.14, photo by JB

RMT contingent, TUC demo, 18.10.14, photo by JB   (Click to enlarge)

Speakers at the Hyde Park rally included Len McCluskey, leader of Unite, who stressed that it's necessary to do more than march and that we need more than anger - needed is to 'mobilise and organise'.

He also said that Britain needs more than a pay rise; it needs a government that fights for working people just as the Tories fight for the rich: "We know there's an alternative to Tory misery - it's about building homes, bringing banks under real public control, freezing energy prices, renationalisation of rail, a boost to the minimum wage - 8 an hour now".

As Len McCluskey unlike the Socialist Party - still believes that the Labour Party could change direction away from imposing austerity, he called for a Labour Party that offers a clear socialist alternative at the next election: "I say this to Labour, stop being scared of your own shadow, time for timid is passed, be brave, be inspired by today and believe that the working class can change our country for the better".

FBU contingent, TUC demo, 18.10.14, photo by JB

FBU contingent, TUC demo, 18.10.14, photo by JB   (Click to enlarge)

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union, called for national trade union coordinated action and expressed disappointment that the local authority strikes planned for Tuesday had been called off. He praised the Fast Food Rights protest that took place outside McDonalds during the course of the day.

Fast Food Rights protesters head for McDonalds, photo Helen Pattison

Fast Food Rights protesters head for McDonalds, photo Helen Pattison   (Click to enlarge)

NSSN stage

The National Shop Stewards Network provided a platform at Hyde Park's Speakers' Corner for discussion on the way forward for coordinating and escalating action to end the pay freeze.

Collecting NSSN placards on the Embankment, TUC demo 18.10.14, photo by JB

Collecting NSSN placards on the Embankment, TUC demo 18.10.14, photo by JB   (Click to enlarge)

Speakers from local authority unions were angry that the 750,000 union members in local government who were supposed to be on strike on Tuesday had their strike called off just days before it was to take place.

There was no major new pay offer that justified this retreat from action. Calls were made for the employer's 'offer' to be rejected, and for strike action to be reinstated.

Demonstrations also took place in Glasgow and Belfast.

Unison marchers, TUC demo 18.10.14, photo by JB

Unison marchers, TUC demo 18.10.14, photo by JB   (Click to enlarge)


"The demo in London on the 18th was filled with an outstanding mood of 'enough is enough'. Ordinary working class people listened to what I - a socialist - had to say, they listened to the tune of 121.90 in donations to the Socialist Party for stickers over five hours on the march.

"I was lifted not just by what I raised for our party, but by the anti-Tory, pro-working class mood all around me. 'We are all in it together' took on a whole new meaning!

Sara, Nottingham
Socialist Party banner, Hyde Park, TUC demo 20.10.14, photo by Nick Chaffey

Socialist Party banner, Hyde Park, TUC demo 20.10.14, photo by Nick Chaffey   (Click to enlarge)

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