“It’s so good to see such a big crowd here today,” general secretary Dave Prentis told protesters at Saturday’s anti-austerity demonstration in London.
The UNISON leader congratulated the marchers for turning out and “making yourselves heard – telling Theresa May that it is Time to Go!; time for an end to austerity, an end to cuts, an end to the public-sector pay cap.”
He said it was “an honour and a privilege to stand here on behalf of 1.3 million public-service workers: the cooks, the cleaners, the carers – most of them women, most of them earning less in a year than some in this country make in a day.”
And it was those UNISON members – cooks, cleaners, carers, nurses, teaching assistants, housing officers, hospital porters and many more, of all ages – who made a very visible purple and green contribution to the march.
Tens of thousands of protesters marched past shoppers in central London …
… to the centre of power in Westminster …
…with a simple message.
UNISON branches came from all over to march in London, push the anti-austerity and call for an end to the pay cap for vital public service workers:
And then, after yet more inspiring speeches – including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, it was time to pack up the banners, the UNISON balloons – which took some work to deflate – alongside the flags, packed lunches and much more, and go home.
But as Dave Prentis wrote in his blog of the day: “In the weeks and months ahead we must keep on marching together, united.”
All photos: Ralph Hodgson