Images by Meg Monk and Melisa Numan and Words by Reece H-Strati
“We don’t put our lives on the line expecting to struggle to pay our bills. We put our lives on line because we care about the community we serve, day in, day out”
– Cerith Griffiths, Fire Brigades union
Hundreds of people gathered outside the UK government building in Cardiff as part of UK-wide protests, organised by the TUC, against the Government’s plan to curb the rights of workers to strike.
Chants of “Tories out” and honking support from passing vehicles sounded as the Wales TUC general secretary Shavanah Taj addressed the crowd in Cardiff. The TUC Wales said it was supporting the right to strike and a “decent pay rise” for public sector workers.
The protest comes as the UK faced it’s biggest day of national strikes with over half a million people walking out, calling for pay rises and better working conditions. University staff, teachers and civil servants joined picket lines and protests across the UK.
A number of speakers addressed the crowd including Cerith Griffiths, a member of the Executive Committee from the Wales Fire Brigades Union, who said “88% of the firefighters are sending a message to the Government. In a little over a decade they got rid of 12,000 firefighters, they closed 50 fire stations and they removed nearly 200 fire fighters from the front line.They’ve got the brass neck to lecture us on minimum service levels. We don’t put our lives on the line expecting to struggle to pay our bills. We put our lives on line because we care about the community we serve, day in, day out”. The Fire Brigrade Union recently voted in favour of strike action.