The TUC Austerity Bus parked up in Abington St in sunshine, which meant that a good flow of people were willing to come along and visit both the bus and the DPAC/SOS stall. PCS and Unison members came to the
bus at lunchtime to show their support.
Ron (NTUC President) went round to the Job Centre with some leaflets, which led to quite a few jobless visiting the bus and talking to the organisers. As Ron said
in an interview, unemployment only tells part of the story as many people are forced to work only part time on zero hour contracts. Especially hard hit are young people who are doing unpaid apprenticeships and voluntary work. This includes recent graduates from universities.
Organisers of the bus soon noticed the number of boarded up shops in town. Austerity has resulted in closure of many small retail businesses and a growth of betting shops and money lenders feasting on those struggling with economic insecurity.
As always, only some members of the media could be bothered to turn up or cover the story, but visitors to the bus gave a clear message – austerity does not work and is a political attack on us all and particularly the most vulnerable in our town. What we need to do is to spread the word that working together CAN bring change. If you haven’t visited our link page yet, take a look. There are campaign groups such as Save Our Services, Defend Council Housing, Northampton Disabled People against Cuts, Reclaim Our NHS and Pensioners Voice, all of which welcome new members. If you aren’t a member of a union you can find out how to join by visiting the relevant pages on this website
and if you are, think about becoming more involved.