SUPPORT THE STRIKES – FAIR PAY NOW – DON’T MAKE WORKERS PAY –THE COST OF LIVING CRISIS IS NOT OUR FAULT
Sheffield TUC and NEU have joined forces to organise this rally and demonstration on
THURSDAY 16TH MARCH 2023
- Assemble 12 noon Devonshire Green
- Demonstration sets off 1230hrs
- Rally at Barkers Pool 1pm
- event ends 1345hrs approx
Speakers at City Hall from NEU Sheffield, UCU, RMT and BMA (Junior Doctors) who are on strike on 16th March
also at Devonshire Green speakers invited from other unions on dispute, including NEU S.Yorks
The cost of living crisis hasn’t been caused by workers wages. On the contrary, workers real incomes have been falling since 2010 and now are taking a big hit with the Cost of Living Crisis.
The country can’t afford it?!?
Sky-high inflation is over 10% CPI (it has been as high as 14% RPI) yet the Government says we can’t afford to pay, but it’s a lie. But the truth is WE CAN AFFORD TO PAY! Tax receipts were £5 Billion more than expected this year so there’s no excuse! The very wealthy and big business are not paying their fair share of tax. It’s been estimated that up to £100 Billion per year is evaded, avoided or simply uncollected by an under-resourced Treasury. Meanwhile we have a Tory Government that believes in the “small state, low tax” dystopia – which means they don’t WANT to pay higher wages to public sector workers so they can give another tax cut to their wealthy supporters.
The wealth is unfairly distributed
UK is the 6th wealthiest country in the world. The FTSE 100 Index is at a record high (just under 8000), there are more billionaires than ever, and Chief Executives of the top companies got an average 39% pay increase last year. Even more staggering is the excess profits of the energy companies which UNITE estimates to be £173 Billion. The Government reluctantly imposed a windfall tax of just £5 Billion and that had so many offsets that most companies paid very little if anything. The wealth is there alright, but the poor are being robbed to pay the rich when it should be transferred in the other direction!
Their response is to try and stop us striking with new undemocratic laws
We oppose the new Minimum Services Bill which is unparalleled in the rest of Europe. Nowhere else will workers who voted to strike be forced to cross their own picket lines or face the sack. Unions which fail to ensure their workers work during a strike can be sued and potentially bankrupted. We are facing a darker era where authoritarian governments restrict our rights. But no amount of unfair laws to suppress trade unions will stop workers from fighting back.
We’re fighting not just for fair pay, but for a better greener, fairer society
NHS workers will tell you that they are fighting to save our NHS from collapse. Teachers say that underfunded schools are depriving our kids of a decent education. We need more money spent on our public services after 12 years of austerity spending cuts. We need public funding to transform our public transport, insulate our homes, invest in green energy and upgrade our infrastructure. We could be creating good green jobs, distribute our wealth more fairly and combat climate change. Many of the solutions to the Cost of Living Crisis, which was caused primarily by profiteering and speculation on fossil fuel supplies, could be found through cheaper greener energy, home insulation and other Green New Deal measures.
Unions are winning!
Going on strike is hard and costs workers money. But we have no choice when our living standards are under attack like never before. But workers are winning! London Abellio workers in UNITE won 18% pay increase after 4 weeks strike. UNITE workers at Shelter took 2 weeks strike action to win a pay settlement over twice as high as the previous “final offer”. FBU fire brigade members have just voted to accept a much improved offer after a massive vote for strike action – without even having to go on strike! Finally the Government is talking to the NHS unions about a real improvement in pay and we wish them well. If you are not in a union, you can’t fight back and just have to accept what the boss gives you. For most non-union workers that means no pay rise at all or well below inflation increases. The answer? Join a union and get a taste of union power!
Are the politicians listening?
It seems as if the whole of Westminster is looking the other way and we are hearing very few MPs agreeing with the unions’ demands. But this current wave of strike action is forcing them to listen. We are building a broader movement demanding real change. We welcome all those who wish to join in the fight for a better, fairer, greener future, for justice and dignity, for peace and international solidarity.
Please come and join us on Thursday 16th March. Bring your banners and make some noise! Please do make your own placards with your personal messages