|Nigel Costley SW TUC|
“The Government’ austerity programme isn’t working”, said South West TUC Secretary Nigel Costley, addressing the January meeting of Bridgwater & District Trades Union Council.
“Every pound they slash from our services should be matched by a similar reduction in the national debt. This isn’t happening. In reality, by increasing unemployment and deprivation, the Government is making our economic situation worse.”
Unemployment continues to rise – among young people unemployment has now passed the million mark - and this is causing enormous damage to our communities. In the south-west, former areas of rural inequality and deprivation are re-emerging.
In Bridgwater, wages fell last year by 3.3% on average, while inflation rose to 5%. Meanwhile wages for top executives rose nationally by 49%!
But people are beginning to get angry about the obvious injustice of the “austerity” programme. They know now that we are not “all in it together””.
Well-organised trades unions are more vital than ever to defend the wages and living standards of working class people – whether in the public, private or retired sector. Trades unions must also educate, support and organise young and unemployed people.”
Bridgwater Secretary Dave Chapple called on all local trades union activists and representatives to support the work of the trades union council, by attending meetings, building unity and solidarity among local workers, and helping with local campaigns.
Next meeting: Monday 12th March, 7pm, GWRSA Staff Club, Wellington Road, Bridgwater. This will be an open Forum, to discuss the threatened cuts to rail services in the area.
Further information about the work of Bridgwater & District Trades Union Council can be obtained from http://bridgwatertuc.blogspot.com , or by contacting Dave Chapple on 01278 450562/ 07776 304 276