The masses have taken to the streets of Leeds to protest over the government’s attitude to pay, pensions and cuts.
The power of the public service unions has once again reared its head in Leeds city centre today as various representative organisations took strike action in Victoria Gardens outside Leeds Central Library, with as many as one million people taking to the streets across the UK.
The action is in response to the lack of commitment in Westminster to transferring the recovering economy across to the workers of the country. With schools, courts and council services all affected by the strikes, those on the picket line were demanding fair pay, inline with inflation, as well as pensions and retirement ages, while cuts across the board continue to invoke the anger of the unions.
Twenty percent worse off
The second largest trade union in the UK believe ‘enough is enough’, as Dave Roberts, a UNISON representative told Leeds-List, “if we accept the one percent pay rise this year it means that in real terms we will be twenty percent worse off than we used to be before this government was elected.”
Penalised for getting old
Michael Vargas of the Fire Brigade Union explained why it’s about more than just money when people are being laid off because of their age and without their full pensions, “we are going to be penalised massively for simply getting old. We want to retire with what was promised to us as we have fulfilled our end of the bargain.”
Eighteen percent down
GMB members are not taking the Government’s intentions lightly either as one explained, “we’re about 18% down on what they should have been paying us, so we’ve come out today as a demonstration of protest.”
Education standards are falling
One National Union of Teachers member was concerned at how education is being sold as a commodity, telling us that it’s “not just about our pay and conditions but because education is being privatised and at the end of the day people are making a profit out of education and education standards are going down.”
Were you at the protests in Leeds city centre today? Do you stand alongside the protestors or are your opposed to their arguements? Share your thoughts and images of the day with us below.