On Sunday (12 February 2023) ten trade unionists joined a collection organised by Leeds Trades Union Council (TUC) to raise solidarity funds for striking workers in Leeds. In recent months strikes have been taking place amongst various groups of workers including civil servants, posties, nurses, ambulance workers, teachers and university workers. Paul, a teacher in the National Education Union (NEU) joined the collection and he told South Leeds Life why:
“‘I’m here showing solidarity for striking workers by collecting for the strike fund. Their fight is my fight, and I’m trying to do what I can to support them. Some strikers, for example the post and rail workers have sacrificed a lot to protect jobs, services and standards of living. They need and deserve practical support.
“To be clear, the Tory government are trying to drive down working people’s standard of living by forcing through what are in reality, massive pay cuts and cuts to services like health care and education. The outcome of these strikes will have important consequences for the future, they will effect whether we have decent standards of living and services or are forced to exist on poverty pay.
Therefore, as I say, I think a victory for any group of workers fighting back right now, nurses, post workers, rail workers, teachers, lecturers paramedics is a victory for us all. But a defeat would be a disaster. I think we need to re-learn some of the old principles of the workers movement, an injury to one is an injury to all; unity is strength; solidarity”.
The collection took place in Beeston before the Leeds United v Manchester United game at Elland Road and in total raised £166. The money raised will be donated to the Leeds TUC strike fund.
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