Trade unions to oppose Government during rally in Wigan town centre

Trade unionists will hold a rally in Wigan to voice their opposition to the Conservative Government and support striking railway workers.

By Gaynor Clarke
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 3:45 pm

Wiganers are being urged to join Saturday’s demonstration, which will include several speakers and a march into the town centre.

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The rally coincides with three days of disruptive strike action by railway workers and comes a week after a delegation from Wigan’s National Education Union (NEU) branch travelled to London support the Trade Union Council’s We Demand Better demonstration.

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The rally will coincide with three days of industrial action by railway workers

It is a chance for people to speak out about the Government and raise concerns about issues such as pay cuts and the cost-of-living crisis.

A spokesman for Wigan Trades Council said: “By threatening the majority of people in the country with wage and benefit cuts, with broken public services and infrastructure, reduced pensions, rent rises and environmental damage, the Government is holding the country to ransom. Their message is clear: if you lot out there don’t accept a reduction in the quality of your life, then how can big employers and financiers continue to make huge profits and give big pay-outs to directors and shareholders?

“We have suffered austerity now for over a decade; inequality in health and income grows; food banks have become a part of everyday life. During the pandemic, when thousands of lives were lost by Government dithering, and the neglect of people in care homes, billions were handed over to the friends of ministers in pandemic contracts. The Government is now clawing back what they gave us (money which was taken from us over the years of

austerity) in the way of the furlough scheme during the pandemic.

“The Tories now have the brass-necked cheek to accuse railway workers of bringing the country to rack and ruin. Those men and women, who kept the trains running during the pandemic while Downing Street partied, are now being portrayed as the enemy of working-class people when in reality railway workers are leaders in the struggle to resist the horrors that families face across the country as the crisis bites.”

Wigan TUC is calling on people to come together on Saturday to have their voices heard by taking part in the demonstration.

The rally will assemble at noon at the main gate to Mesnes Park, on Mesnes Park Terrace, Swinley, before participants make their way to the town centre.

Wigan True Levellers community samba band will perform and there will be speakers including striking RMT railway workers and representatives from Unite, Stand Up To Racism, Bakers Union, Unison, NEU and others.

The spokesman said: "Wigan Trades Council is calling on people in the town to resist this Government and all that it stands for. We need to get organised in our trade unions and in our communities; to join trade unions, get your workplace organised; get your community organised. The trades council will assist in any way it can.

"‘Come along to our rally next Saturday in the town.”

To find out more about the rally, email [email protected]