Monday, 3 October 2011


One of several regional NUT banners on the march
A total of just three trade union members (who are also members of FAC) drove to Lancaster early on Sunday morning where they joined a coach taking campaigners from the district to attend the Trades Union Congress march and rally at Manchester.  The local trio was joined by two Barrow unemployed young

The three are members of Unison, the GMB and NUT respectively but had to make their own arrangements for getting to the march as neither local trade union branches in Furness nor theTrade Union Councils of Barrow or Ulverston had made any arrangements for trade union members to attend the event. 

A full 52 seater coach together with a supporting minibus left Lancaster after 10am and the weather turned distinctly damp - it rained quite heavily!  Fortunately, by the time we arrived at Manchester, the rain had stopped and it turned out to be an excellent day for a march - warm and overcast but fairly bright.

Numerous stalls promoting political and community organisations lined parts of the route and all manner of banners, flags and large balloons made for a colourful mass display.  Drummers kept up a steady beat, people blew whistles, sounded air horns, and expressed their anti-cuts messages through loudhailers.  The mood was very friendly, the police were approachable, and there was no trouble at all.  The marchers were satisfied they had left a clear message to the Tories sheltering behind lines of police in the Conference Centre that their policies for dealing with the economic crisis were not only NOT solving anything but actually making things worse.

The Barrow group arrived home shortly after 7.30pm, understanding the rally had just been a warm-up for the day of action on 30th November when major unions have called on their members to hold a national one day strike.  

Whether trade unionists in Barrow or the rest of Furness intend to support the strike remains to be seen but if past performance is used as a guide then no direct action will be taken.  It would be really gratifying, just for once, for this assumption to be proved to be wrong.  

This report by: Norman


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