Aberdeenshire UNISON

Public Works Update 27th March 2011

March for the alternative26 March: Together we can achieve anything

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See an 'on march' report from the UNISONActive blog

Branch banner in London
Branch banner on March

Branch members joined thousands of Scotland UNISON members as they descended on London on Saturday 26th March from across the country to join hundreds of thousands in the biggest trade union demonstration in a generation.

Many, including members of our branch, travelled overnight on buses, arriving in London early to join the march. The branch banner joined banners from across Scotland and the UK and became part of a ribbon of green and purple that snaked past the iconic sights of London to make one simple point - there is an alternative to cuts and to the smashing of our welfare state.

Morag Lawrence"It was such a privilege to be part of this inspiring day. With almost half a million people on the march it felt like the real Big Society. The people who deliver our public services and the people who rely on them standing together against greed and for fairness. Hopefully a signal to workers and public alike that we can change things if we act together. Pay attention Cameron and Clegg. This is just the start." Morag Lawrence, Steward

Branch members posted 50 postcards from the march in London to local MPs and MSPs asking them what they will do to promote fair funding for Aberdeenshire Council to support the provision of local services for local people by local people.

Julie Neale"I found the whole experience amazing. It gave me inspiration to carry on and I am proud to be a Unison steward for the Aberdeenshire Branch." Julie Neale, Steward

This was a well organised and good humoured march with trade union members joined by parents, children, students and older people, all with one message for this UK government - leave our services alone.

Steve Gray"The March for the Alternative was massive, amazing and moving.
Massive in terms of 500,000 people marching through central London past the seat of government from 11am to 5pm from the Thames to Hyde Park.
Amazing in that people from all walks of life, ages and abilities felt strongly enough to travel from right across the British Isles to take part in the March for the Alternative.
Moving because all those people really did form a big society with a belief in the need for local services for local needs as part of a fairer society." Steve Gray, Asst Branch Secretary

At the Rally in Hyde Park, we heard speaker after speaker calling for a government rethink. Speakers from churches and voluntary groups joined trade union leaders, the TUC and Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party to express their deep concern and anger about the impact of the cuts on ordinary people, on the poor and vulnerable and on the economy. And to highlight the injustice and immorality of bankers getting £7 bn in bonusses whilst 4,000,000 children live in poverty and more and more families are struggling to make ends meet.

Wendy Hudson"I felt I was part of something that would be written in the history books and it made me proud to work for UNISON. It was like we were winning for the day!"
Wendy Hudson, UNISON staff.

Public sector unions and unions whose members work in the private sector were of one voice because despite this government's rhetoric, cuts to public services will hit the private sector every bit as much as they will the public sector.

It was a wonderful event. It was truly uplifting to see so many people come together to challenge the policies of this government and to tell them that "There is a better way!"