Thousands joined national pay protest on Saturday
Tens of thousands joined the Trades Union Congress (TUC) organised march that took place in major cities across the UK on Saturday, 18 October to protest against pay conditions.
Marching under the slogan Britain Needs a Pay Rise, protestors in London, Glasgow and Belfast called for greater economic recovery and better wage conditions.
Among the protestors were public sector workers protesting against the 2010 pay freeze and subsequent cap on pay increases that has been introduced as part of the government’s spending cuts.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady called for an end to what he called “the longest and deepest pay squeeze in recorded history,” stating: “The average worker is £50 a week worse off than in 2007 and 5 million earn less than the living wage.”
The TUC estimated approximately 90,000 protestors marched in London on Saturday whilst the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) recorded between 4,000 – 5,000 protestors in Glasgow and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions estimated that 1,500 marched in Belfast.
Earlier in the week, public sector workers and civil servants had joined a national strike organised by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) over their deteriorating standards of living due to pay constraints, pension changes and inflation.
According to the PCS, 5,000 of their members were present at the rally on Saturday.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS, spoke on behalf of members and said: “Britain needs a pay rise, we also need a benefit rise and we need to unite people who are all campaigning against austerity.”
A spokesperson for the HM Treasury said: "This government's long term economic plan is working: it's delivering the largest annual fall in unemployment, more people in work than ever before and inequality lower than the average under the previous government.
“But the job is not done, which is why we'll go on working through the plan that is building a resilient British economy. Around £12bn will be saved from public sector pay restraint since 2010, equivalent to the cost of employing 65,000 teachers or 71,000 nurses over this period."
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