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18 August 2016

Search site for keywords: Derby - The Socialist - Socialist - Zero-hour contracts - Fares - Jeremy Corbyn - Unison - living wage - Strike - Franchises - Nationalise - Public ownership - Rail

Corbyn backs teaching assistants at hundreds-strong Derby rally

A crowd of 700 rallied for Jeremy Corbyn at lunchtime in Derby, 16.8.16, photo by Charlie Taylor

A crowd of 700 rallied for Jeremy Corbyn at lunchtime in Derby, 16.8.16, photo by Charlie Taylor   (Click to enlarge)

Charlie Taylor

To loud clapping and cheers in his introduction of Jeremy Corbyn, former Derby North Labour MP Chris Williamson said Corbyn is likely to be the first ever prime minister to have stood on a picket line.

Jeremy Corbyn addressed over 800 people at the lunchtime rally in Derby on 16 August. He spoke on many issues, from the NHS to Trident nukes and zero-hour contracts. "Let's get rid of zero-hour contracts," he said. "It's very difficult to plan anything in your life if you don't know when you are going to work and how much you are going to get paid for it. We also need a decent 10 an hour living wage in this country."

He was cheered loudly on his every word by the crowd of all ages.

At the rally was a large contingent of teaching assistants, members of public sector union Unison. They highlighted their dispute with Derby's Labour-controlled city council. Many have lost hundreds of pounds a month after changes to their contracts imposed on them at the beginning of June.

They have already had a one-day strike and several lunchtime walkouts. They plan further strikes in September and October. Jeremy expressed his support for these workers in his speech.

On the same day next year's increase of regulated rail fares by 1.9% was announced, Jeremy had shown his opposition to privatisation by sitting on the floor of his full train to expose high fares and overcrowding. He reiterated his pledge to nationalise the railways as the franchises came up. The Socialist Party backs his call for public ownership, but we argue that only immediate renationalisation, with compensation paid only on the basis of proven need, will be able to rectify the railways.

The Socialist Party was very well received. Members from Leicester and Derby sold 90 copies of the Socialist.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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Article dated 18 August 2016

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