Reading TUC demo. Photo: Reading SP
Reading TUC demo. Photo: Reading SP

Adam Gillman, Socialist Party and Reading Trades Council youth officer, personal capacity

On Saturday 14 October, Reading Trades Union Council organised a march and rally against all the anti-trade union laws but specifically against the minimum service levels act. This means that a government minister can set an arbitrary minimum service level in an attempt to undermine strikes, despite not being able to deliver minimum service levels even when there isn’t a strike on!

The event started with trade unionists gathering in Forbury Gardens. We got interviewed by BBC South. Then we marched through the Forbury with trade union, Youth Fight for Jobs, and trades council banners all displayed.

I spoke on the need to get more young people in trade unions, and called for trade unions to support election candidates who support union policies, and stand candidates of their own. Then Steve from Aslef spoke about the rail dispute.

Socialist Party member Melanie spoke about the need for coordinated action among the unions. Chloe made a powerful speech about her experience with capitalism and fighting for her son, calling for funding for services that are democratically controlled by trade unions, workers and the service users.

We also heard from the president of Reading NEU, Unison, and John Moloney, PCS assistant general secretary (running alongside Marion Lloyd in the PCS elections).