Call to arms made in cutbacks battle

Blackpool Against The Cuts meeting.
Blackpool Against The Cuts meeting.
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A CALL was made for more young people to join the fight against Government cutbacks.

The Blackpool Against the Cuts lobby sees young support as crucial in helping put more pressure on the Government to re-think its controversial proposals.

Members of the public sector’s Unite, Unison and Public and Commercial Service (PCS) unions met at St Kentigern’s Church on Newton Drive, Blackpool, to discuss ways of continuing the protest in wake of last month’s mass public sector day of action against proposed changes to pensions and retirement age.

David Dickinson, branch officer of Unison, said the protests on November 30 would be meaningless if more action did not take place soon.

He said: “Momentum is the key thing here.

“There was probably a lot of ordinary people on strike that had never been on a demonstration before and it’s the presence of those ordinary people we need to maintain.

“Any young people who didn’t think pensions affected them are being affected here and now with their pay.”

While it was agreed the idea of carrying out further action over pensions may not entice youngsters to side with unions, focusing on the impact of high unemployment figures and Government pay freezes for those with jobs should motivate them.

Peter Hunter, from Blackpool Trades Council, said: “Quite a bit of work needs to be done.

“But with pay cuts and unemployment, it should be easy to bring young people onboard.”

Teacher Ken Cridland, chairman of Blackpool Against the Cuts, added: “Encouraging youngsters can be quite effective and we are looking into it.

“My own children who are in their 20s and had never been involved in any action before, got really involved on November 30 and took days off work to protest with their partners who work in the public sector.”

The next joint union meeting will be held on Tuesday at the Loco Club, Back Ribble Road, Blackpool, starting at 6.30pm.