Members of Southampton UNISON District branch joined hundreds of trade union members from all over the UK in descending on Westminster earlier this month (November) to put pressure on MPs to take drastic action to boost workers’ pay – the best possible solution to easing the current cost of living crisis.
UNISON members were among those making their voices heard at the ‘We Demand Better’ lobby and rally, organised by the TUC. UNISON members taking part were voicing the message of the union’s cost of living campaign, Together We Rise – that soaring prices don’t have to push people into poverty. It’s the government’s political choices that are doing that.
Southampton District UNISON members, Mark Roberts (top right) and Dave Shields met with Southampton Test MP, Alan Whitehead (centre, also a UNISON member) in order to share with him local examples of how the cost of living crisis is affecting the lives of ordinary workers, and encourage all of the city’s elected representatives to accept the need for better pay deals across the public sector.
Southampton District UNISON branch secretary Mark Roberts said: “I’d like to thank Alan Whitehead for taking the time to listen to us about some of the very real issues facing UNISON members and others working in vital frontline public services here in Southampton. I’m very re-assured that he and the city’s Labour councillors understand and are sympathetic to our members’ needs.
“I’d also hope that our local Conservative MPs can listen to us and maybe influence Southampton-born Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, to make sure he makes the right call in terms of public service investment and – importantly – a decent standard of living for all our public service workers.”
Southampton District UNISON branch communications officer, Dave Shields added: “We have a very real cost of living crisis on our hands here in Southampton right now. As a local councillor serving the Freemantle ward in Southampton, I see glaring examples of this every day. I’m very pleased that our City Council is taking this matter very seriously and it was good that so many Labour councillors and trade union members were able to take part in the recent Cost of Living Crisis summit at Solent University.”
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