Joe joined thousands at a protest against austerity and the Tories Trade Union Bill in Manchester.
The “No to Austerity, Yes to Workers’ Rights” demonstration was organised by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on the first day of the Conservative Party conference (Sunday 4th October).
Councillor Cullinane attended the demonstration the day before he is due to speak against the Tories Trade Union Bill at a public meeting in Irvine organised by the Ayrshire Morning Star readers and supporters group.
Speaking after the demonstration, Councillor Cullinane said;
“Austerity is not a necessity, it’s a political choice which has disproportionally affected the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. The fantastic turnout for this TUC demonstration shows that there is a growing anti-austerity movement in the UK, bowed by the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, and I was pleased to join thousands at this demonstration.”
“The need to end austerity is clear here in North Ayrshire where vital services, such as Women’s Aid and Speech and Language Therapy, have been cut and more cuts are on the way. It is important that we build this anti-austerity movement to oppose Tory cuts at a UK level but also to place greater pressure on the Scottish Government to protect Scottish public services from them, something they are failing to do with it just announced that they underspent their budget again last year by £350million. That’s money that should have been invested to prevent cuts to vital services here in North Ayrshire and throughout Scotland.”
“Days like Sunday show why the Tories are so keen to attack our trade unions. The Labour movement’s ability to organise, mobilise and coordinate people on a large scale is the greatest threat to the Tories ideologically driven agenda. That’s why we must oppose the Trade Union Bill. We must defend the right of our trade unions to campaign on behalf of working people and it is great that people here in North Ayrshire are coming together to oppose it. We, in the Labour Group, are very hopeful that we will be able to work with the SNP administration to pass our council motion which will see NAC refuse to cooperate by not implementing the bill and I look forward to addressing the Morning Star meeting to talk about the campaign.