Strikes hit Wigan

SCORES of firefighters, public sector workers and teachers hit the streets of Wigan as part of a strike rally.

Leading unions have organised the coordinated walkout over pensions, pay, cuts and working conditions.

One of the speakers in the town centre

One of the speakers in the town centre

Dozens of borough schools were forced to have full or partial closures while council services such as bin collections have been cancelled.

Representatives from public sector workers’ unions including Unison and GMB plus Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and National Union of Teachers (NUT) each took their turn to address the crowd in Marketplace.

Unison representative Dave Lowe said: “We are being made to pay for the banking crisis and we are not going to stand for it anymore.”

The walkout by council staff over pay caused disruptions all over the borough including the cancellation of bin collections.

Ministers introduced a one per cent pay rise cap in 2012 which is still in place.

David Hope of GMB said: “Are we asking for the world? No we’re not. I believe that united, we will win.

“The answer to all this is the next election. The Labour Party may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but what’s the alternative? Another five year’s of this?”