Mass demonstration outside Redbridge town hall

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Members of the GMB union outside the town hall Members of the GMB union outside the town hall

Protesters gathered outside Redbridge town hall to show solidarity with public sector workers on strike today over pay.

More than 60 members of the GMB union gathered in Ilford before joining a demonstration in central London.

Some teachers, firefighters and public sector workers are protesting over a one per cent government pay offer.

The government has criticised unions over the strike saying only a minority of members voted in favour.

Richard Smyth, GMB branch secretary said: “It was really good turnout and we showed were not happy.

“The offer we’ve been given is an absolute insult.

“Employers have refused to talk to us, or go to arbitration because they know any other sane people wouldn’t see that as a decent offer.

“We’ve tried everything we can to get round the table and negotiate but we’ve had no choice to take part in the strike action.”

“Private sector pay is increasing faster than the public sector. We work for better terms and conditions so that we don’t suffer.

“Rather than a race to the bottom to see whose pay is worse, the private sector should organise and fight for the same.

“They should think why are [public sector benefits] better than ours?

“Let’s try and get on level terms with you.”

The government insist it has been forced to make difficult decisions as it addresses the budget deficit.

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