Ann Henderson, STUC Assistant Secretary, urges us all to join tomorrow’s march and rally in Glasgow for A Just Scotland.
Tomorrow, Saturday 18th October, demonstrations and rallies will be taking place in London, Glasgow and Belfast, all speaking up for working people and communities who are struggling to get by on lower wages and higher prices.
Although the latest labour market statistics show a slight fall in the unemployment figures, there is a rise in part time work, low paid work, and self-employment. For many of those who are now self-employed, it is not a welcome choice but a consequence of being made redundant or being unable to find a permanent job.
The next round of public spending cuts will see more pressure heaped onto those who are in work, with rising stress levels and poor mental health, as the same amount of work needs to be done, but by fewer people. Reductions in community facilities, rural transport provision, and rising rents in both the public and private sector look set to continue.
In Scotland we hope that the recent increased level of political activity, with such a significant voter turnout in the referendum, will see more voices now coming together to speak up for ‘A Just Scotland’.
The STUC has placed our priorities for social justice and equality at the heart of our discussions over the last three years, and that is what will take us onto the streets on Saturday in Glasgow. Marching behind the banner ‘Scotland needs a Pay Rise’, trade unionists and community activists from across Scotland, from different towns, workplaces, from the student movement, the women’s movement, equality organisations and the voluntary sector – employed and unemployed – we have a responsibility to be visible, in our campaigns.
Voting has to translate into action. Earlier in the week, a successful conference hosted by the STUC and the Poverty Alliance, ‘Decent Work, Dignified Lives’, discussed alternative economic solutions and policy choices that society could make. The current austerity agenda will not deliver a decent standard of living, with good quality work and family life at the heart of it, and we need to come together to show that. Over 800,000 families in Scotland live in poverty – and many of them include adults in employment – this is completely unacceptable.
So – join us on Saturday, it is where Labour belongs – be visible, and speak up together for change. What better way to mark the final day of Challenge Poverty Week?
The ‘A Just Scotland’ march and rally will assemble on Saturday 18th October at 10.00am on Glasgow Green. Please come. Full details here.