Unions, students and pensioners unite for anti-cuts meeting

PEOPLE who provide and use public services threatened by government cuts can defend them if they campaign together, say the organisers of an emergency public meeting to be held at Andover Guildhall at 7:30pm on Wednesday March 2.

Andover TUC is inviting townsfolk to hear the true extent of how the ConDems’ cuts would destroy jobs and inflict massive damage on the health service, education, pensions and the welfare state – and how unions and community groups together can beat them.

ATUC is also offering free coach travel to London for the national demonstration against cuts being organised by the TUC on March 26: contact Derek on 07939 595 092.

Student Julian Jones, a leader of the 20-week occupation of University College London and an organiser of demonstrations against the tripling of university fees and abolition of the education maintenance allowance, will be among the speakers.

He will be joined by a local representative of the National Pensioners’ Convention, which campaigns for pensioners’ rights, and against the raising of the retirement age and government policies aimed at devaluing pensions.

Paul Barnsley, national officer for the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), will detail how the government’s austerity measures are strangling the economic recovery – and how public spending cuts are also killing private-sector jobs.

Unite union regional organiser Ian Woodland will describe how unnecessary cuts threaten to destroy front-line services and jobs across Hampshire.

TUC regional secretary Megan Dobney will outline how unions and community groups are already working together to defend jobs and services – and why the TUC is organising a massive protest in London on March 26.

ATUC secretary Derek Kotz said: “The government is peddling the big lie that there is no alternative to savage cuts when there is already clear evidence that its ideologically driven attack on public spending is doing even more damage.

“The working people, pensioners and students being targeted by these cuts played no part in causing the recession, but the bankers and corporations who have been bailed out with our money are still laughing all the way to the bank.

“Fair taxation, a clampdown on tax-dodging and harnessing the banks to work for the economy rather than convert public money into fat bonuses would allow us to invest in the public services people need and a massive programme of council-house building.”

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About Sarah Evans

Community campaigner, working mum, Labour Party activist, chair of Hampshire Labour Representation Committee (LRC) and LRC national committee member.
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