Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/10470
Cardiff: March and rally on 23 October
Workers in Wales were buoyed up by seeing 600 trade unionists marching through Cardiff city centre and making it clear that we would stand up and fight any cuts in Wales.
Katrine Williams, PCS Wales Chair
The demonstration was backed by the unions PCS, CWU, UCU, FBU and RMT as well as the Wales Shop Stewards Network and Cardiff and Swansea trades councils.
On the day we also had trade unionists from other unions - Napo Cymru, the NASUWT, as well as Unite and Unison branches who also spoke against the cuts and the devastating impact they would have on jobs and services in Wales.
GMB members in Remploy organised a mini-bus to the march. Les Woodward, the Remploy joint convenor, made a powerful speech attacking this government's offensive against the poor and those on benefits.
Most of those on the demo were disappointed that the Wales TUC had failed to call and organise this demonstration because of their lack of confidence that workers would turn out.
Also the key trade unions who take a lead in the Wales TUC are limiting their campaigning to waiting for New Labour to be re-elected in five years time and mitigating the impact of the cuts.
Unison full-timers are urging members to 'pace themselves'.
Fortunately, trade unionists have taken the initiative in Wales and will continue to do so if the Wales TUC continues to abdicate its duty.
We cannot wait for a New Labour government; we have no choice and we will fight all the cuts now. In fact many of us have been fighting savage cuts for years, with the onslaught already begun by the previous government against the public sector.
The rally voted reluctantly to hear the Plaid Cymru deputy leader of Cardiff county council, Neil McAvoy, speak, with the view of 'let's listen to what he has to say'.
But he got a hostile reception when he said that the council would have to make cuts as they have no choice at council and Welsh Assembly level because of the Con-Dem government's decisions.
Shouts of "it's better to break the law than break the poor" interrupted his excuses and he was reminded that the law has changed, so councillors do not face surcharge any more.
This was a very good start to building a mass movement across Wales to fight the cuts, involving trade unionists and everyone in our communities.