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Unions take their protest to Sussex
Trade unionists have used Sussex as a platform to protest.
About 400 delegates representing 53 unions will be debating issues from youth unemployment to taxation reform at the annual Trades Union Congress conference gathering in Brighton until Wednesday, September 12.
A series of protests were held across Brighton and Hove over the weekend as the event in Brighton Centre started yesterday (September 9).
More than 200 people gathered at The Level before marching along the seafront as part of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) lobby of the Trade Union Congress.
The group, which describes itself as a rank-and-file movement from across the trade unions, called for a 24 hour general strike against austerity in Britain.
A spokesman for NSSN said: “The list of attacks this government is making is long, as well as the pensions dispute, the government is proposing below inflation pay rises – effectively a pay cut.
“The list of attacks this government is making is long. As well as the pensions dispute the government is proposing below inflation pay rises – effectively a pay cut.”
It came after controversial union representative Bob Crow, of the Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT), led a demonstration against the future of rail travel outside Brighton station on Saturday, September 8.
Last month it was announced that rail fares would yet again rise above inflation.
Amid a double-dip recession, tickets are expected to increase in January on average by 6.2 percentage points with some 11.2 percentage points. It is estimated that commuters travelling to London will have to shell out nearly £5,000 for a season ticket.
The RMT targeted last year’s McNulty report with members calling on the government to renationalise the network.
Speaking to The Argus, Mr Crow, the union’s general secretary, said: “The government want to implement this review and we are here to warn the public and help protect our railways.
“Fares are consistently going up above inflation and certainly not with pay and conditions.
“We are told that they are using the money to invest back into the railways but in reality those at the top are creaming off more and more of the profits.
“The way things are going rail travel is going to end up as a pursuit for the rich – not a public service.”
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls will speak at the conference, which is the 144th annual policy-making forum for the TUC, the umbrella organisation that represents trade unions.
Councillor Phelim Mac Cafferty, deputy leader of Brighton and Hove City Council , said: “We are delighted that Congress is returning to our shores and convening for the first time in the brilliantly renovated Brighton Centre .”