‘GET OUT of the EU now,’ RMT general secretary Mick Cash told the May Day rally in Trafalgar Square at the end of the 7,000-strong march of trade unionists, workers, students and youth from Clerkenwell Green yesterday.
Cash said, ‘We’ve got a political class which is making a right dog’s breakfast of Brexit. I say to Labour deputy leader Tom Watson: respect the referendum, respect it and get on with getting out of the EU.
‘We’ve got a Labour mayor making cuts on London Underground. I’m calling you out today, Sadiq Khan. Stop implementing Tory cuts.
‘I praise our guards, RMT guards fighting for three years for safe, accessible railways.
‘I say to Theresa May: go now. We need a new government.’
There were banners flags and balloons from the GMB, Unite, Unison, ASLEF, the RMT, Equity, the Musicians Union (MU). There was the ‘Justice for the Shrewsbury Pickets’ banner, many Turkish socialist banners.
The Young Socialists and Workers Revolutionary Party banner was accompanied by a delegation of over 50, shouting, ‘Quit the EU now! Kick the Tories out! No Zero-Hours Contracts! End Slave Labour!
‘End the Israeli Occupation! Victory to Palestine!’
There was a large Freedom for Ocalan balloon with a large Kurdish delegation.
News Line spoke to workers and trade unionists on the march as it was assembling and proceeding.
ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan told News Line, ‘We are a Brexit trade union. The neoliberal model of Europe lends itself to privatisation. It will decimate public services, including post, rail and the NHS.
‘Now it is time for all the working people of Europe to look at whether they want to be controlled by trans-national companies or by the workers of the countries that they live in.’
London UCU lecturer, Joseph Lucey, said, ‘The referendum result has to be carried out. The people have spoken and it’s unacceptable that politicians across the parliamentary parties are using stalling tactics.
‘The trade unions have got to reflect the wishes of their members and take action to ensure that they are carried out.
‘That includes strike action including general strike action to ensure the referendum result is carried out.’
Helen O’Connor, GMB Southern Region official, said, ‘The ISS campaign we are running at the moment is vital.
‘ISS is a massive privateer. They have public service contracts in the NHS, schools and social services.
‘They are driving down the wages, terms and conditions of thousands of workers, withholding their pay and urging them to take out loans.
‘We have had multiple protests, which will escalate to strike action without doubt. We demand the London Living Wage, currently £10.55 per hour, sick pay from day one of sickness and an end to bullying.’