PCS president calls for solidarity and unity to oppose all cuts
Speaking on the first day of the TUC annual congress, Public and Commercial Services union national president Janice Godrich called for "solidarity and unity" to oppose all government cuts.
Supporting a motion on public services and the economy, Janice said the deficit exists because investment bankers and speculators crashed our economy.
She added: "It's because companies have sacked thousands of staff – 2.5 million unemployed, and half that figure again under-employed, who are no longer paying tax, but claiming benefits.
"Ireland and Greece have been forced to cut their way out of the crisis. It has not worked. In fact they have cut their way into a deeper crisis.
"If we want to close the deficit, the best thing we can do is create more jobs, keep people in work, boost wages, and increase benefits. The sort of things trade unions were created to do."
On why all cuts should be opposed, she said: "The minute you start accepting some cuts, you are inherently saying 'my job is defensible but yours is not'.
"You are told you must decide between firefighters and coastguards, between benefits processors and tax collectors, between teachers and nurses. Where should the cuts fall?
"We are the sixth richest nation in the world – the richest 10% of people in Britain have £4.5 trillion in personal wealth – five times the entire UK debt.
"We don't need cuts, we need redistribution. We don't need division, we need solidarity."
– For information and interview requests contact PCS national press officer Richard Simcox on 020 7801 2747 or 07833 978216
– The Public and Commercial Services union represents civil and public servants in central government. It has around 300,000 members in over 200 departments and agencies, and in parts of government transferred to the private sector. PCS is the UK's sixth largest union and is affiliated to the TUC. The general secretary is Mark Serwotka and the president is Janice Godrich – on Twitter @janicegodrich
– Follow PCS on Twitter @pcs_union