A modest Swansea Trades Council May Day March and Rally yesterday reflected the horrendously changeable weather South Wales has suffered recently and perhaps, the fact that there has been something of a lull in the movement generally since November 30. However it was representative of some very important struggles taking place currently.
The march was lead off by disabled people that work for Remploy; the Swansea Fforestfach plant is one of 7 out of the 9 Welsh plants threatened with closure this summer. As we entered the city centre, shoppers stopped to applaud the Remploy Workers. This is reflective of the enormous public support for keeping Remploy open that exists up and down the country. Les Woodward, who is a shop steward in the Swansea plant and the national trade union convenor for Remploy expressed the anger of Remploy workers to this government and explained why he was standing for the Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition.
Dave Warren, of the PCS, called on all trade unionists present to support the strike action taking place on May 10, of public sector workers in PCS, UNITE Health, UCU and NIPSA and also of private sector workers taking action on the same day, such as RMT. There was also a contingent of Visteon Pensioners, with their ‘Fraud’ banners; ex-Visteon workers have now entered into the third year of their struggle for pension justice from Ford.
Political speakers on behalf of Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party all explained why the cuts of the other parties were worse than those of their party. Ronnie Job, Trades Council Secretary, reminded the rally that the day was also Workers’ Memorial Day; a day to remember the workers who have suffered from capitalism’s incessant drive for profits and to re-commit ourselves to fighting to end it. He said that trade unionism is founded on the principles of solidarity and unity; that an injury to one is an injury to all, and in that spirit, called for a fight against all cuts and a vote for TUSC on May 3.