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Highlights From The Right To Strike Day of Action

MU members and staff marched and attended rallies in Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Norwich, Nottingham, Plymouth and Worcester.

Published: 10 February 2023 | 3:39 PM
White and yellow MU flags being held by supporters outside of Leeds Town Hall for the Right to Strike march.
We attended rallies in Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Norwich, Nottingham, Plymouth and Worcester. Image credit: The MU ©

In January, we explained how the MU would be taking part in the TUC-coordinated Right to Strike day on 1 February.

The day of action was called to protest against the new anti-strike legislation proposed by the Government, which would threaten key workers with the sack if they take industrial action for a pay rise.

The UK already has some of the most restrictive trade union laws in the world and we stood in solidarity with every working person defending the right to strike.

The way we get things done is to act together as a union in solidarity

Up and down the country both MU members and staff joined together with half a million people, including teachers, train drivers, bus drivers, civil servants and many more to protect the right to strike.

 

Rick Finlay, Vice Chair of the union’s Executive Committee, attended the London event - which we covered throughout the day via Twitter - and said: “This Government is destroying our ability to work as musicians, so we have common cause with the people that we’re out marching with.

“The way we get things done is to act together as a union in solidarity”.

 

Meanwhile over in Leeds, MU General Secretary Naomi Pohl, attended the march before joining the Association of British Orchestras Conference that evening to discuss how the Union was changing in order to represent members equally, the importance of freelance orchestral players and more.

As well as a host of members and other colleagues, Naomi was also joined by Assistant General Secretary Matt Wanstall, who flew the flag in support of the North.

Matt Wanstall holding an MU flag among a crowd of people at the Right to Strike March in Leeds
MU members, staff and other supporters gather together outside Leeds town hall for the Right to Strike. Image credit: The MU ©

An attack on the rights of working people

There was also a full house at the historic Trades Hall for the Glasgow Rally, opened by STUC President Pauline Rourke.

During a speech, Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar stated: “The Labour Party in Scotland will never question the right to be on a picket line. We were born out of the trade union movement and will always be a party of Labour.”

This sentiment was also shared by Andrea Bradley, EIS General Secretary and Chair of STUC Women’s Committee, who said: “The bill is a fundamentally undemocratic attack on the rights of working people”.

View full coverage of the day via the MU’s Twitter thread.

You can read more about what the union is doing to support members in the latest General Secretary update.

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