Hundreds marched through Leeds on Saturday 3rd May to celebrate May Day. Harrogate Socialists attended the event, marching under the banner of the “Harrogate Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition”.
Speakers at the rally included striking Care UK workers from Doncaster, Alex Gordon (RMT) and Matt Wrack (FBU general secretary). Matt Wrack highlighted the government’s pensions robbery of the firefighters, with another annual increase now being imposed on their pension contributions. Firefighters contributions are now 14.2% of their salary, more than £4,000 a year from a salary of less than £29,000.
Matt stated that “workers should not have to pay for an economic crisis that we did not create. The profiteers and spivs in the City of London caused the crisis and they should be made to pay.” Matt also highlighted the inadequacy of Labour’s proposals for a “price freeze” on energy and called for all the utilities to be brought into public ownership, along with the banks.
Following the march and rally there was a public meeting organised by the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC). Kevin Pattison, TUSC candidate for the Bramley & Stanningley ward, spoke about the campaign in Leeds and the importance of TUSC in providing a voice for working-class people.
Sam Lynch, a Socialist Party member from Huddersfield, spoke about his experience of being part of Kshama Sawant’s election victory in Seattle in the United States. Kshama won 93,000 votes as a “Socialist Alternative” candidate and became the first socialist elected in Seattle for 98 years!
For further information about the socialist victory in Seattle, see the following link: