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Vol. 75/No. 10      March 14, 2011

Unions to march in
United Kingdom on March 26
LONDON-—Tens of thousands in the United Kingdom are expected to attend a demonstration being organized by the Trades Union Congress March 26 to protest government cuts in social spending and jobs. A million UK workers are expected to lose jobs in the next four years. So far 50,000 public sector jobs have been eliminated out of the 500,000 projected. A further half a million jobs will be cut as local councils stop work contracted to private companies, including more than 100,000 jobs in construction and 51,000 in manufacturing.

The National Health Service has cut 11,000 jobs in the last year. The initial impact of this was revealed in January with reports that heart surgery and cancer operations were being cancelled, and seriously ill children had to travel about 100 miles to receive care at pediatric units.

The cuts to local government funding is compounded with other attacks on the social wage, including a rise in the retirement age to 66, education cuts, and a 50 percent reduction in the budget for building state subsidized housing.

Union officials have largely blamed the Tory/Liberal government while avoiding a fight with Labour local authorities, who are implementing the cuts. Labour Party leader Edward Miliband, who will speak at the March 26 action, argues, for example, that what is wrong with the cuts is that they are “too far and too fast.”

The government’s elimination of jobs comes with unemployment already standing at almost 2.5 million. The official inflation rate rose to 4 percent in January. For working people this figure has little to do with what most affects their lives—food, energy, and housing costs. Food inflation is estimated at 4.6 percent.
Related articles:
Join Wisconsin showdown to stop assault on unions!
‘Working people need to stick together’
3,000 rally in Trenton, New Jersey, against cuts
Help get out the ‘Militant’ at Wisconsin rallies!
On the Picket Line  
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