UK: Thousands call for strike at TUC rally on eve of rail strike

Between 40 and 50,000 people demonstrated at a rally in London on Saturday for ‘We Demand Better’ organized by the trade union confederation TUC (Trades Union Congress).

This week there were demonstrations by 50,000 railway employees on the eve of the national strike on June 21, 23 and 25.

Part of the TUC rally in Parliament Square (WSWS Media)

Seeking to take control of a nascent strike wave, the union bureaucracy pulled out all the stops. Although the protest was slightly larger than the annual TUC protest of recent years, it was still much smaller than in 2011, which later brought together 200,000 people. The Conservative government came to power and began its first brutal austerities.

Held against a backdrop of strong sentiment among workers in favor of confrontation with the Johnson government and big business, shows the decline of union authority after decades of betrayal – only a necessary shift toward a more militant rhetoric cannot hide .

Many of the participants came from an older layer of union representatives, including local officials, shop managers and workers. But there were also thousands of activists and youth looking for a way to deal with the devastating attack on living standards and the effects of inflation reaching 11 percent. A TUC study published on the same day showed that between 2008 and 2021 the average worker lost nearly £20,000 in real income.

TUC’s bankruptcy policy was confirmed at a closing rally in Parliament Square. There, an amnesty was granted to the Labor Party, Johnson’s political partner. Former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was sacked, was reduced to wandering as an isolated figure in the demonstration, who handed over his party without a fight from right-wing supporters of Tony Blair.

The new labor leader Sir Keir Starmer had decided not to show himself where he would be in any way associated with the working class strikes. But its deputy leaders Angela Rainer and Tony Blair clone Wes Streeting, among others, were given the opportunity to be photographed with the head of TUC Frances O’Grady, while maintaining their political distance in consensus with the union bureaucracy.

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

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