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Labour Party conference lobby

14 August 2009

As part of the union's enhanced political campaigning in the run up to the election, UCU members joined a coalition of trade unions and pressure groups to lobby the Labour Party's conference in Brighton on 27 September.


Labour conference rally Sunday's demonstration in Brighton was a great success. 4, 000 people turned up to tell the Labour Government that they must change direction if they are going to have any chance of winning the next election. Unfortunately, this seems very unlikely as all political parties are competing to who is going to slash public service spending the most. It is quite unbelievable a year on from the spectacular collapse of the financial markets that we in the public sector are being lined up to take the blame for the crisis for having 'high pay' and 'gold plated pensions.' MPs, general secretaries as well as those who are fighting against cuts spoke out in defence of jobs and services.

Sally Hunt, UCU's general secretary opened the rally welcoming everyone to Brighton and thanking them for their support for the UCU, NUT, PCS, NUJ, StWC, UAF and RTW sponsored demo. She praised Tower Hamlets for their courageous and successful fight to Defend Jobs and Education and warned the Labour Government that UCU would do all it could to defend the education of the young and those wishing to re-enter education because of the recession.

After the demonstration and rally, 300 people attended a meeting to discuss the next step to defend jobs, pensions and services in the Ship Hotel hosted by UCU. The meeting heard from a range of speakers including Mark Serwotka, general secretary PCS, as well as Alison Lord from THC who was given a standing ovation as she explained to the audience how they had won their battle to save jobs.

The demonstration also launched UCU's Education and the Recession general election campaign. The NUT has united with UCU to lobby all the political parties in the coming general election where the unions will be using the election period to raise the profile of schools, further and higher education.

There was a consensus that the demonstration showed the real potential to build a united cross industry alliance to defend services, pensions and jobs. A major conference in January to launch such an alliance in Manchester, hosted by the Right to Work campaign, was announced.

Banners on the demonstration at Labour Party conference

There were lots of campaign banners on display at the protest outside Labour's conference in Brighton last Sunday.

Here is a list of some of the trade union and campaign banners we spotted:

  • UCU national banner
  • UCU Northern Region
  • UCU East Midlands Region
  • Tower Hamlets UCU
  • City & Islington College UCU
  • University College London UCU
  • London Met UCU
  • Oxford & Cherwell Valley College UCU
  • Leeds University UCU
  • University of Brighton UCU
  • Nottingham Trent UCU
  • Barnsley College UCU
  • Chesterfield College UCU
  • Bradford College UCU
  • College of North West London UCU
  • National Union of Journalists
  • Wessex RMT
  • Brighton & Hove RMT
  • Portsmouth RMT
  • European Passenger Services RMT
  • CWU South Central No. 1
  • PCS national banner
  • PCS Identity and Passport Services
  • PCS Midlands
  • Holborn GMB/Apex
  • Greater Manchester IT Amicus (Unite)
  • Bristol Health Unite
  • Soas Unison
  • London Fire Brigade Unison
  • Brighton & Hove Unison
  • Tower Hamlets Unison
  • Avon Mental Health Unison
  • Sheffield NUT
  • Lambeth NUT
  • Redbridge NUT
  • Islington NUT
  • Ealing NUT
  • Leeds NUT
  • Southwark NUT
  • Newham NUT
  • Cambridgeshire NUT
  • Norwich City NUT
  • Dudley NUT
  • Oxfordshire NUT
  • South Gloucestershire NUT
  • Ryde & East Wight Trades Council
  • Brighton & Hove Trades Council
  • Southampton Trades Council
  • Cambridge & District Trades Council
  • Medway Trades Council
  • Birmingham Trades Council
  • Waltham Forest Trades Council
  • Croydon Trades Council
  • Manchester Trades Council
  • Mansfield and Nottingham Trades Council
  • Stop the War Coalition (national banner)
  • Wandsworth Stop the War
  • Cambridge Stop the War
  • Norwich Stop the War
  • Lewisham Stop the War
  • Strathclyde University Stop the War
  • Walsall Stop the War
  • Fight for the Right to Work
  • Cambridge Keep Our NHS Public
  • Camden Keep Our NHS Public
  • Vestas Campaign
  • Another Education is Possible
  • Moviemento Ecuador
  • Campaign Against Climate Change
  • Unite Against Fascism
  • No Borders
  • Geoff Hyde is Innocent
  • Indian Workers Association Derby
  • Socialist Workers Party (SWP)
  • North London SWP
  • South London SWP
  • Brighton Solidarity Federation
  • Green Left

Labour conference rally coalition

Last updated: 29 January 2020