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TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady slammed Theresa May as a hypocrite yesterday in a barn-storming address to Wales TUC delegates in Llandudno.
Ms O’Grady said she had listened carefully to what the Prime Minister said last Friday on a visit to Wales in which she accused the Welsh government of betraying a generation of children.
“Is this the same Prime Minister who, across the UK, has slashed funding for schools? Who has cut benefits hitting single mothers hardest?” she asked.
“And whose party since 2010 has presided over a million more children — children whose parents work all the hours God sends — plunged into poverty?
“So, when it comes to betraying a generation of children, Ms May should take a long hard look in her austerity mirror,” the TUC leader declared.
She ran through some victories through which the trade union movement has enriched working-class lives before concluding that the job isn’t finished.
Ms O’Grady voiced her delight at having marched last Saturday with the “brave young women and men on low wages and zero-hours contracts whose demands are not so different to those of the union pioneers — right to fair pay, to guaranteed hours, and a union voice at work.”
Workers from McDonald’s and TGI Fridays recently took strike action against powerful transnational corporations, proving, she said, that, when trade unionists put their mind to it, “no workers, no companies are beyond our reach.”
She urged delegates to let “those inspirational strikers and all young people who want a new deal at work” know that the whole movement stands with them.
Returning to the Prime Minister, Ms O’Grady recalled that Theresa May had promised to protect and enhance workers’ rights, put workers on company boards, tackle zero hours and be on the side of working people.
“Whatever happened to that?” she wanted to know.
The best response from the movement to the Tories’ Trade Union Act is to “build back stronger,” she said.
In her estimation, the spirit of the miners who fought against Margaret Thatcher’s industrial butchery “lives on in those young McDonald’s workers and millions more like them.
“When we stick together, when we organise together, we can win together,” she concluded.
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