Pay protests: Thousands demonstrate over public sector wage awards Protest marches calling for pay increases for public sector workers have begun – with tens of thousands of people expected to join.

The “massive turnout” will send
a strong message to the
government, the Trades Union
Congress (TUC) general secretary
Frances O’Grady has said.
Workers are protesting about a
below-inflation 1% pay offer –
which the government says will
safeguard jobs.
The TUC-organised rallies are
being held in London, Glasgow
and Belfast.
Dave Prentis, general secretary
of the Unison union, said the
“best thing” the government
could do was “recognise the
value of the masses of people
here today who have suffered
and give them a pay rise”.
“Our members didn’t cause this
recession, our members didn’t
cause the failures of the banks,”
he said.
‘End the lock-out’
The TUC has organised the
protests under the slogan
“Britain Needs a Pay Rise”.
Public sector workers including
teachers, nurses, civil servants
and hospital workers are among
those taking part, alongside rail
and postal workers and others
from private firms.
The TUC says average wages
have fallen by £50 a week in real
terms since 2008.
Ms O’Grady said: “Our message
is that after the longest and
deepest pay squeeze in
recorded history, it’s time to end
the lock-out that has kept the
vast majority from sharing in the
economic recovery.”
Protests are being held in
London (pictured here),
Glasgow and Belfast
The marches follow strikes by
health workers this week over
a below-inflation pay offer
The protests have been
organised by the TUC under
the slogan “Britain Needs a
Pay Rise”
She said top directors were
being awarded 175 times more
than the average worker, while
five million people were earning
less than the living wage.
“If politicians wonder why so
many feel excluded from the
democratic process, they should
start with bread and butter
living standards,” she said.
“An economy that finds money
for tax cuts for the rich and
boardroom greed, while the rest
face a pay squeeze and big cuts
to the welfare system – that any
of us might need – is no longer
working for the many.”

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