Trade unionists, unemployed students and school pupils begins 30-mile walk from Stirling (pictured) to join the STUC Future That Works protest
PCS young members’ activist, Leah Ganley (pictured, second right) told UnionNews: “I’m looking forward to the march, despite the rain. It’s an important issue.
“It’s important for public sector trade unionists to get involved in the campaign against youth unemployment, with over 100,000 young people out of work [in Scotland] and the government threatening to cut over 700,000 public sector jobs.”
The March for Jobs and Public Services has been organised by Youth Fight for Jobs Scotland and the PCS Young Members Network and comes as official figures confirmed unemployment north of the border has continued to rise, now standing at 8.2%.
Although the overall jobless rate fell across the UK, it also showed increases last month in London, the West Midlands and Northern Ireland, as well as Scotland.
Labour MSP Neil Findlay, who joined the marchers as they set off from Stirling castle on the first leg of their three-day trek to Glasgow, said: “All across Europe we’re seeing people march against the austerity that’s being imposed on them, whether that’s by the EU, their national governments or by local government having to impose the cuts that are passed down to them.
“So, young people here today are taking action that’s being taken by their counterparts in Greece, Spain and Portugal and all across the EU.”
You can watch our film report on the start of the march here:
March organiser, Matt Dobson, told UnionNews: “Today a hardy few, young activists from the workplaces, dole queue, colleges and schools are marching in the footsteps of the generation of the 1930’s, who suffered mass unemployment and the burden of capitalist crisis and took part in the hunger marches.
“We will not be forced to become another lost generation.
“Austerity policies and public sector cuts are wrecking the lives of the working class in Scotland and the future of young people.
“Along the road we will carry demands for real job creation, investment in public services, public works, free education and affordable housing.”
The marchers hope their 3-day trek will encourage others to join the STUC demonstration in Glasgow on Saturday.
The STUC itself was forced to organise a campaign among local trade unions to ensure that it was able to hold Saturday’s opening rally in George Square, next to the city’s historic council chambers.
The local authority had initially refused to allow protesters to gather at the city centre location, which has been the scene of generations of rallies and trade union demonstrations dating back to the early 20th century.
Separate protests are being held in Belfast and London under the Future That Works banner.
The marchers planned to complete their first day in the town of Larbert, birthplace of the radical parliamentary reformer, Thomas Hardy, the founder of the London Corresponding Society of the 1790s.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.