By Oliver Gibson –
The Trades Union Congress (TUC), together with Socialist Alternative members, are set to march on London and hold a rally at Parliament Square this Saturday.
The TUC, which represents the majority of unions in the UK, has been vocal on the subject of the cost of living crisis, which has seen bills rising for consumers around the West.
The most recent edition of the Socialist Alternative’s paper described the TUC’s march as a ‘positive step’ that would need to be ‘built upon’ with further action.
So, what is the march about? And what do these groups hope to achieve?
Cormac Kelly, a local Socialist Alternative campaigner, offered this statement to KLTV:
“We are participating because of the huge problems working people are facing in Huddersfield and in the country as a whole.
“Over a third of families cut back on food purchases even before the energy price increases. In Huddersfield and North Kirklees there has been recent strike action by Just Eat delivery workers who pointed out to Socialist Alternative members that they and their families are finding it increasing difficult to live with fuel increases and wage cuts.
“Working people have faced decades of pay restraint, an escalation of fire and rehire, and falling living standards.”
Cost of Living Crisis
The House of Commons briefing on the cost of living crisis demonstrated a nine per cent rise in consumer prices in the last year alone.
That report pointed to a number of contributing factors behind the crisis. For example, from April 2021 to April 2022, domestic gas prices increased by ninety-five per cent and domestic energy prices rose by fifty-four per cent.
Such price rises in fuel and energy prices, influenced by Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the ongoing implications of lockdowns, have drastic knock-on effects across the whole UK economy.
Kelly also said the following on solidarity with workers across Britain in various sectors:
“The demonstration will show huge support and solidarity for a growing number of workers such as railway workers, postal workers, teachers, and civil servants who are balloting or due to take industrial action.
“The hundreds of thousands on the march will be part of the campaign for decent pay and conditions for all workers.”
This march will no doubt be one of importance given the recent news of rail and transport strikes across Britain, which have come under criticism for the disruption they have caused to the travel arrangements of pupils sitting their GCSEs and other examinations in schools, sixth forms and colleges in the summer period.
The Government is also currently considering its options on the cost of living crisis, as are local authorities over the country
The precise details of the TUC’s route can be found on their website here: https://www.tuc.org.uk/march-route