On Saturday members of Hampshire UNISON took part in the 150,000 strong TUC demonstration through central London, with a clear message to the government that austerity is failing and that we need a radical change of direction if we want a “Future that Works” for ourselves and our children. Coaches took members from Winchester and Basingstoke to join thousands of trade unionists, students, pensioners and community campaigners on the streets of the capital to demand an end to the vicious cuts that are destroying jobs and services, and with it any hope of economic recovery.
It was a magnificent show of resistance, but as important as such days are as a rallying cry for our side, we know that change will not come through a one-off demonstration. October 20th must be the springboard for a sustained campaign of action by the trade union movement to stop the government’s attacks on public services and the welfare state. Hampshire UNISON recently passed a motion welcoming the TUC’s decision to consider the practicalities of organising a general strike and committing our branch to working within our own regional and national structures, to make the prospect of a general strike a reality.
The speed and scale of the government’s onslaught makes this an urgent task. At a branch level it means strengthening our organisation, recruiting new members, as well as new stewards / reps who can take a lead in their workplace. If you think you can help, whether it be recruiting your colleagues to UNISON, acting as a point of contact for the branch or becoming your workplace’s elected rep we would love to hear from you.