Despite cloudy and wet conditions demonstrators lead by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) gathered on May 12th in Central London by the thousands to demonstrate against unfair wages, Zero Hour Contracts, and austerity measures.
Workers involved in current disputes including those at restaurant chains TGI Fridays and McDonald’s joined the march, along with nurses, ambulance crews, postmen, teachers, civil servants and cleaners.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said before the march started that workers have had enough of low pay, poor quality jobs and constant cuts to public services. The event was also attended by Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn who told the crowd that the Labour party will “proudly support” workers and pledged to give them “more power at work, by strengthening their rights and freedoms to organise together to improve their lives”.
The TUC website states that the march was organized “Because real wages are still lower than before the crash in 2008. Because three million workers are stuck on zero hour contracts, in agency work and in low paid self-employment. Because hardworking public servants haven’t had a proper payrise for eight years. Because our NHS is at breaking point. And because years of cuts have led to poverty, homelessness and despair for too many.”
Marchers in the crowd carried signs and chanted slogans calling out the Tory party’s policies and the privileged wealthy elite for the current economic situation. Signs included messages such as “Cut war not welfare” and “Crack down on tax dodgers”. The marchers also expressed solidarity with the Windrush generation, the Grenfell Tower victims, and their rejection of racism.
One demonstrator told KCW Today that the movement was all inclusive, and that they reject the idea of immigrants and refugees being a contributing factor to the United Kingdom’s economic troubles. “Everyone should be welcome here. Support free movement.” said another demonstrator to KCW Today.