Unions urge public to join rally in Northampton over public sector pay

TUC Midlands Regional Secretary, Lee Barron
TUC Midlands Regional Secretary, Lee Barron

Union members are holding a public rally in Northampton on Saturday to end "the public sector pay cap".

The rally is being organised by TUC Midlands and will include senior trade union leaders, including the Fire Brigades Union General Secretary Matt Wrack. It will run from noon to 2pm at Northampton Working Men's Club in Sheep Street.

There will also be other awareness actions on Thursday, October 19 and Friday, October 20.

TUC Midlands regional secretary, Lee Barron, said the focus on pay in Northampton follows the publication of a report in September highlighting how Northampton is now the most indebted place per capita in the UK.

"Since the great banking crash of 2008 workers in Northampton, and across the Midlands, have seen their wages fall year after year. We've just learned that Northampton is the most indebted town in the UK. Workers are increasingly having to rely on credit cards, overdrafts and other personal loans to make up for the shortfall in their wage packets.

"You simply can't build a successful, sustainable or productive economy if people are forced into more and more debt. We need to see all workers given a decent pay rise and drive forward wage-led growth," he said.

"And let's be clear. This is not just about public sector pay. If public sector pay is artificially held down private sector employers will follow in suppressing wages and the downward spiral of poor wages and increasing debt will continue.

"Enough really is enough. The people of Northampton know that the system is broken and that action is needed to fix this sorry state of affairs.

"Following the General Election, both Parliamentary seats in Northampton are marginal. Let us hope that both Michael Ellis and Andrew Lewer recognise the problems facing workers in Northampton and work with us to end the public sector pay cap and give Northampton the pay rise it so desperately needs," he added.