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GMB Birmingham & West Midlands Region

GMB Support Birmingham Hard Up Festival Outside Tory Party Conference With March And Rally

Friday, September 26, 2014

Festival designed to send a message to Tory led Government on how  people living and working in the West Midlands are feeling and will continue to feel the pain says GMB. 

GMB with other unions will be staging a protest outside the Tory Party Conference together with a March and Rally on Sunday 28 September 2014 as part of the Hard Up Festival outside the Tory Party. 

The Festival is organized by Midland TUC and is designed to be a free fun day for all of the community, giving a day’s relief from the daily grind, with music, fairground stalls, community stalls and much more.  There will also be a protest march into the Town Centre, followed by speakers calling for a pay rise for the West Midlands and a halt to austerity. 

Details of the event are as follows: 

The event runs from 11am to 4pm Sunday 28th September. 

in Victoria Square, Birmingham B1 1BD 

The march assembles from 11.30am in Victoria Square Speakers confirmed for the rally include Rehana Azam,  GMB National Officer for the NHS, Owen Jones,   Author and Columnist, Max Hyde, NUT President, Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary, Billy Hayes, CWU General Secretary, Mark Wrack, FBU General Secretary, Dave Prentis, Unison General Secretary Gerard Coyne, Unite Regional Secretary and Lee Barron, Midlands TUC Regional Secretary. 

The slogan will be “We are not all in it together! HARD UP FOREVER is the way things are going.” Full details of the Festival can be found on the Festival website: www.hardupfestival.com

Joe Morgan, GMB Regional Secretary, said “The event is designed to send a message to the Tory led Government on how people living and working in the West Midlands feel about the continuing drop in living standards. 

There are large swathes of the country and a great number of workers that have seen little or no benefit from this recovery. Much of the growth seen so far is due to demographic factors and the increase in population means GDP per head is still 5.7% below 2007 levels. This is the root cause of average earnings being down 13.8% in real terms since then.  

Lots of hard working families are relying more and more on food banks to feed their children, as the cost of living rises and wages don’t.  This is felt even harder in the Public Sector where workers have had their pay cut in real terms by 20%.  

Jobs with decent pay and full-time hours are hard to come by with an increase in part-time and zero hour contracts; this is set to become a lot worse with the announcement last week of 6000 jobs to go within Birmingham City Council. 

The Government keep talking about the Private Sector creating jobs to pick up the fall out, but this is unrealistic with the skills sector not being transferable.  This region is feeling and will continue to feel the pain. 

GMB consider it's time for Britain to have a pay rise, our members deserve it.  It's time to ditch this Governments austerity programme, it's time to banish the hated and pernicious Bedroom Tax and in less than eight months, this Governments time will also be up.  They, along with their failed policies, will be dumped in the dustbin of history. 

Since the toxic Health and Social Care Act we have seen NHS services cut, downgraded and sold off. We have seen longer waiting times and the NHS staff demoralised whilst NHS jobs are cut. We have seen the dismantling of the NHS on a scale that has included £1 billion NHS cancer services in Stafford, a further £1 billion of older people's services in Cambridge, and many more services being auctioned off. 

What's clear is we just can't trust the Tories with the NHS. They have misled the public and don't have the people's permission to sell the NHS. Thousands of people across the country joined the People's March for the NHS over the summer to bring attention to the cuts to the NHS. Our message to the Tories is what will count come the General Election is the people's vote for the NHS.” 

Ends 

Contact: GMB Senior Organiser Amanda Gearing 07957 265678 or Rehana Azam, GMB NHS National Organiser, Joe Morgan, GMB Birmingham & West Midlands Regional Secretary 07794 247960 or Samantha Jones, GMB Media Administrator 07939 874272

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