Tuesday 8 July 2014

Greens stand alongside unions in million strong public sector strike on Thursday

On July 10 the Green Party will stand alongside unions in the largest one-day strike over pay by public sector employees since 2010.

The Green Party have pledged to support the employees’ right to strike and to picket peacefully in order to assert their right to fair wages and proper treatment. Public sector employees are facing unprecedented financial hardship with part-time and female employees the most affected under the Government’s ideological austerity agenda.

The strike will see more than one million workers protesting the Government policy of frozen and restricted pay and will include workers from the PCS, The National Union of Teachers, Unison, and others.

Thousands of people around the country are forgoing a day’s pay to express their unhappiness with the Coalition Government’s economic attack on public sector employees.

Greens across the country will show their support:

Green MP, Caroline Lucas said:

"It is very clear that austerity isn't working. It's cruel and counterproductive. It should not be the most vulnerable who are paying the price of an economic crisis that was not of their making. People are struggling, the cost of living is rising and it's time the Government recognised the value of workers who provide us with crucial services every day.

"People have had enough, it is time for plan B and it's time for the Government to listen. On July 10, people from all over the country will stand together to make their voices heard loud and clear."

Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett said: 

 "This government's austerity agenda is making public sector employees, joined with benefit recipients, the increasing numbers of poorly paid, and insecure private sector employees, pay for the financial crisis that was not of their making.

“George Osborne is cutting the tax rate for multinational companies and inviting them to dodge even that reduced rate of taxes, and at the same time has slashed the real pay of the dinner ladies, the cleaners, and the local officers who keep our communities running. I'll be showing my support on Thursday by visiting picket lines around my local area of Camden before joining the march and rally in central London.

"We cannot continue to see soaring poverty and dependence on foodbanks in Britain; we need to make the minimum wage a living wage, and ensure local government employees have a chance of decent progression beyond that."

Green Party Trade Union Liaison Officer of GPEW national executive, Romayne Phoenix:

"The economic crisis was caused by the banks; how could it ever be fair - or effective - to fix it by cutting workers' pay? Our public services benefit the majority. This is about not letting those at the top blame the rest of us for problems we didn't cause."

Green MEP for South East, Keith Taylor:

“When the government decides to stop spending their time dismantling public services and oppressing the low paid and unemployed, and instead focusses on reigning in the power and wealth of the top 1%, then I'll have a shred of sympathy for them.

“Until then I am 100% behind the strikers and their efforts to defend our services, and seek decent terms and conditions for public sector workers.”

Kirklees Green Party Councillor, Andrew Cooper commented:

"I'll be joining staff on the Picket line in Huddersfield. Kirklees Jobs and services for local people have suffered greatly due to Coalition targeting of local government for cuts.”
 Dudley Councillor and Deputy Leader, Will Duckworth said:
 “I will be on the picket lines early in the morning and then going on the planned demonstration in Birmingham with Dudley Trades Union Council.  We need to fight the Government's attempts to destroy decent pay and pensions for normal working people.”

 The Group of London Green Party Councillors said:

“It can’t go on like this. We can't continue with rapacious cuts to the NHS, the closure of local children's centres, and mounting queues at foodbanks. The government must hear the public's message that cuts are hurting the people of Britain. An alternative economic strategy and an alternative future is possible and together with communities up and down the country we will be out promoting that message on Thursday.”

North West Green Party Representative, Laura Bannister commented:

“In the North West, members will be visiting and taking part in picket lines and supporting the mass rally in Manchester. We are also sending letters of solidarity to regional TU branches on behalf of the regional party"

As a member of the Green Party and the Green Party Trade Union Group, I will be supporting the picket of Brent Civic Centre and the Central London march.

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