Europe rallies to stop workers' pay assault
Union-led rallies in defence of working peoples' hard-won rights and against pay freezes rocked cities the length and breadth of Europe on Wednesday.
The popular ETUC-led protests in countries including Greece, Portugal, Slovenia, Poland, Italy, Serbia and Ireland complemented a massive protest in Brussels.
In Northern Ireland the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, its affiliates and local trades councils led rallies in Belfast and Derry as part of the EU-wide Day of Action against austerity and cuts.
Over 5,000 people gathered outside Belfast City Hall and Derry Guildhall to express their opposition to the regressive austerity measures and cuts expected to be announced by Britain's Tory chancellor on October 20.
ICTU assistant general secretary Peter Bunting told the rally that it is a "myth that government debt has never been higher.
"It was more than three times higher after the second world war and that generation built the National Health Service and the modern welfare state," Mr Bunting stormed.
He said that politicians and pundits who are clamouring for swift, deep cuts to reduce government deficits are trying to perpetrate a "cruel hoax" on working people and the vulnerable.
In Greece public hospital and transport workers walked out, disrupting travel in the country, while in Slovenia public-service unions are continuing a strike that started on Monday after the government froze workers' wages for two years.
In Poland, thousands of workers defied a torrential downpour to march through central Warsaw against government plans to freeze wages. http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/95842
NOTE: IT'S CALLED "BALLS" AMERICA...GET SOME!