Monday, 21 February 2011
Rhondda Cynon Taff marches against the cuts
Over 400 trade unionists, community campaigners and young people marched against cutbacks in a demonstration organised by UNISON. Also in attendance was a sizeable contingent from GMB, PCS NASUWT and other trade unionists. The demonstration was loud and angry as we marched through the town centre with the Youth Fight For Jobs contingent especially loud.
Many council workers are angry at the labour run Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) council for the blackmailing of staff, threatening them with the sack unless they except worse pay and conditions, which will affect their pay home pay for most workers of between £2-£4000, and in some cases even more!
The anger of the workforce was noticeable at the rally in the Muni at the end of the march, which was reflected in the speeches UNISON leaders in Wales were made even if up until now this has not been matched by their actions. It is clear that the weight of their members’ anger is pressing up against them.
Hundreds of RCT Against The Cuts leaflets were distributed on the day, both to those on the demonstration and passers-by. After the rally Socialist Party Wales held a very successful public meeting with about 50 in attendance. At the meeting several council workers expressed their anger towards the trade union branch leaderships, who they say had not really gone out of their way to inform the workforce that the demonstration had taken place, one worker went on to add “I only found out about the demo today, but most of the people I work with probably still don’t know after it has happened”.
In reply one of the organisers of RCT Against The Cuts said that this shows the importance of building this anti-cuts alliance which can communicate to all trade unionists and other campaigners in the area about the events coming up and to build a network of activists throughout all trade unions in the area to act as a lever on the leaderships to make sure they are doing what we elected them to do as represent their members interests.
On the day dozens of people said they would come to the next meeting of RCT Against The Cuts on February 24th in Pontypridd Museum and are going to help build the campaign. Two people joined the Socialist Party and many more expressed an interest in finding out more and joining as well.
Video By Ken Smith
Text By Glyn Matthews