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Thursday, 10 July 2014

The Green party support today's strike action

The Green party leadership has written an open letter to the public sector workers who are striking today:

To the workers and members of trade unions striking on July 10th 2014,

On behalf of the Green Party of England and Wales, we would like to express our solidarity with you in your struggle for decent, secure work and fair pay, pensions and working conditions.

We believe that public sector workers provide excellent and vital service to our country, and that our public services represent a very significant part of the true wealth of this nation.

The public sector in the UK has, for decades, been systematically attacked. Workers are bearing the brunt of this, and are being expected to pay the price for an economic crisis not of their making.

We recognise that going on strike is the option of last resort, and that the decisions to do so have not been taken lightly. We sincerely hope that this co-ordinated action succeeds in defending your jobs, fair pay, pensions and working conditions – all of which are vital if we are to protect the integrity of our public services.

With very best wishes,

Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
Will Duckworth, Deputy Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
Caroline Lucas, Member of Parliament for Brighton Pavilion
Romayne Phoenix, Trade Union Liaison Officer, Green Party of England and Wales

Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas said: "It is very clear that austerity isn't working. It's cruel and counterproductive. It should not be the most vulnerable who are paying the price of an economic crisis that was not of their making. People are struggling, the cost of living is rising and it's time the Government recognised the value of workers who provide us with crucial services every day. People have had enough, it is time for plan B and it's time for the Government to listen."

Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett commented: "This government's austerity agenda is making public sector employees, joined with benefit recipients, the increasing numbers of poorly paid, and insecure private sector employees, pay for the financial crisis that was not of their making."

Ms Bennett continuing said: "George Osborne is cutting the tax rate for multinational companies and inviting them to dodge even that reduced rate of taxes, and at the same time has slashed the real pay of the dinner ladies, the cleaners, and the local officers who keep our communities running. I'll be showing my support on Thursday by visiting picket lines around my local area of Camden before joining the march and rally in central London. We cannot continue to see soaring poverty and dependence on foodbanks in Britain; we need to make the minimum wage a living wage, and ensure local government employees have a chance of decent progression beyond that."

Green Party Trade Union Liaison Officer of GPEW national executive, Romayne Phoenix: "The economic crisis was caused by the banks; how could it ever be fair - or effective - to fix it by cutting workers' pay? Our public services benefit the majority. This is about not letting those at the top blame the rest of us for problems we didn't cause."