Mick Lynch, General Secretary of the Rail, Shipping and Transport union and Mary Bousted, Assistant General Secretary of the National Education Union, join striking members and supporters at a march in Westminster.
union boss mick lynch has told striking workers “we are the working class and we are back” in a moving speech on a day of widespread industrial action in the UK.
The general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, speaking at a National Education Union (NEU) rally in Westminster on Wednesday, insisted that “all workers need fair treatment” while criticizing the government for “ try to ban the working class.”
“Strike Wednesday” was described as the country’s biggest strike day in a decade, with workers walking out amid increasingly bitter disputes over wages, jobs and conditions.
Thousands of schools were closed for the day due to the NEU action and pickets were set up in front of railway stations, schools, government departments and universities across the country.
Lynch addressed thousands of striking teachers gathered outside Downing Street.
“Welcome to Westminster, the house of the fools and the house of the corrupt,” he said.
“Last year, Grant Shapps, do you remember? It’s still here. Lurking around all these buildings here, running the government, telling Rishi Sunak what to do, trying to ban the working class.
“He was telling the media that railway workers have no friends, that we would be back to work, and how dare we ask for a raise when teachers can’t afford to live, when nurses are more deserving cases, when the public -Los workers in the sector cannot get a wage agreement.
“Our message then, as it is today, is that every worker needs a raise, every worker needs a fair deal.
“And our message is this, we demand and we are united. We will not be divided on the basis of who we work for. We will not be divided on the basis of our beliefs, or the color of our skin, or the part of the country we are from.
“We are the working class and we are back. We are here, we demand change, we refuse to be bought, and we are going to win for our people on our terms.”
The NEU estimated that around 85% of schools in England and Wales would be affected by the strikes, with potentially 300,000 union members joining the pickets across the country.
Organizers believe 40,000 striking teachers and workers are marching through central London.
The TUC also staged a series of protests against the government’s controversial plans for a new law on minimum service levels during strikes.