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Coventry rally against public sector cuts
Unite in the West Midlands held a 'Community and Youth Rally' in Coventry on 19 June. Originally organised to support youth workers in Coventry whose pay, terms and conditions had been attacked by the previous Tory council, it was broadened to take into account the onslaught of the Con-Dem government against the working class.
The youth workers led the way with a number of them outlining just how little they were rewarded for a socially important job, working with young people. Unfortunately, the new leader of Coventry council, Labour's John Mutton, was not very helpful. Using the same arguments as George Osborne, he said when Labour came into office, the cupboard was bare! So he could not make any commitments towards them or any other workers! Neither did he rule out more cuts.
Unite assistant general secretary Len McCluskey made a fighting speech, blaming the banks and capitalism for the crisis, not ordinary working people. He urged union members to fight back.
Youth worker and Socialist Party member Teresa Chalcroft reminded the rally that Labour in Liverpool had fought for jobs, houses and services in the1980s and Coventry council should do the same. Socialist councillor Dave Nellist urged Unite to support the motion being put before the TUC from the PCS chair Janice Godrich for a TUC demo against the cuts in the autumn. Eric Segal from threatened legal service RMJ also addressed the rally.
With workers in Coventry lobbying the council on 22 June, the stage is set for further struggles in Coventry against cuts and attacks. This would draw on the militant Coventry traditions praised by Len McCluskey in his speech.
In The Socialist 23 June 2010:
Youth fight for jobs
National Shop Stewards Network
Workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis