Key trade unions in the public sector have united to fight the Labour
government before a packed audience.
Railworkers' union leader Bob Crow, civil service union activist Jackie
McWilliams and Welsh firefighters' representative John Purser were guest
speakers at the Forward Wales rally in Wrexham's Centenary Club on
Thursday, October 21. The evening was chaired by Wrexham Assembly Member
More than 100 people attended the "Red October" event, which was
sponsored by Forward Wales and the RMT railworkers' union. The rally saw
the hand of solidarity extended between the various unions - John Purser
handed over a cheque for £200 to the PCS strike fund on behalf of the
Dave Bithell, of Wrexham's RMT branch and also a Forward Wales
councillor, who organised the event, said: "Labour was launched a
century ago as the party of the workers. Since then it's changed out of
all recognition. Now it's the party of the millionaires not the millions
- giving peerages to big party donors while sacking thousands of public
"Ex-Labour ministers are making big money as advisers to private
companies, just like the Tories used to do. So who speaks up for
ordinary working-class people?"
Jackie McWilliams, of the PCS civil service union, explained the need
for resistance to Labour's plan to axe 100,000 jobs among the workers
who deliver pensions and other benefits to the most needy. Her union is
planning to strike in protest on November 5.
John Purser, North Wales regional vice-chairman of the FBU, told a
similar tale of how the Labour government was hell bent on confrontation
with his union. He explained the background to the recent firefighters'
strike and how the FBU had resisted government attempts to spark more
The main speaker Bob Crow, who was ironically delayed by a train
connection, launched a blistering attack on the Labour Party as having
betrayed working people and of imposing more restrictions on workers'
He made clear his support for Forward Wales as a radical alternative to
Labour in Wales, along with the Scottish Socialist Party in Scotland,
and won a standing ovation from the crowd for his impassioned call for
public ownership of the railways.