Monday, 13 September 2010

'We will defend all that we hold dear'

13 Sep 2010

UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, stands with public service workers
Moving the motion on public services at TUC Congress today, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis spoke of the injustice of the Coalition's cuts.

Describing, Bob Diamond, the new boss of Barclays, who is paid £11m a year, Mr Prentis said: "We're told he's worth every penny, says he wakes up every morning with a smile on his face", whilst, he said, "public service workers across the land wake up every morning, not with a smile on their face, but worried whether they still have a job because of the failure of bankers like Mr Diamond."

And the cuts were unjust he said, as the coalition takes "a chainsaw to our public services", whilst "banks are posting record profits."

And they were unjust he said, as "bankers are back to their bonuses, hoping that no one will notice the income of the top 1% of our society is now greater than the total pay bill for our NHS, our schools and our local government put together."

He spoke of the alternative to the cuts that the coalition government refuses to pursue.

"The coalition says they can't ask their friends in big business to pay tax. That would discourage enterprise. They can't regulate the financial system or there'll be fewer jobs in the city.

"But with breathtaking hypocrisy, they take away the benefits of the poor and disabled. They undermine the job security of low paid workers. They let our communities feel the pain."

Outlining further alternatives he said: "If there's money to bail out bankers and their bonuses, if there's money for war, for Trident, there's money available to protect our public services.

"And if money is tight, never mind a pay freeze for our members. How about a pay freeze for the bankers? We’ve seen enough of what they've done. We've had enough of their greed, their arrogance. It's them, not our members, who should be doing more for less."

Read more of this story on UNISON UK website


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