Yesterdays rally organised by Unison in Pontypridd for Rhondda Cynon Taf (R.C.T.) workers against cuts they said were imposed on them by the Labour-controlled council. was a good start and there was an enthusiastic turnout.
Unison has criticised proposals which it says downgrade pay and conditions, but council leaders have said the alternative is "job losses and service cuts".
Those who attended the Rally were truly shocked to here from Union leader of of the Councils bullying tactics and it provided us with the interesting dilemma faced with the only spokesperson invited to speak on the Platform.
For it was Labour's Candidate for the Pontypridd seat Mick Antoniw. who managed to address us on a protest on the attack on the work force of Labour controlled R.C.T. without once mentioning them. A remarkable feat and it was a generous audience who allowed him to do this.
We could ask why other Parties who were present Plaid,Socialist Party,and Communist Party for example were not allowed to address the audience (actually I was thankful) but it still shows that the Unions must be prepared to stop backing Labour unless that Party fully backs the rights of their members. As I have said before they are for the members of Union and not to blindly support the Labour Party there is a difference between the Labour Movement as a whole and the Party, and you can be an enthusiastic supporter of the former without backing the latter.
A noticeable absentee was Lib-Dem councillor and perennial candidate Mike Powell, who is usually leaping aboard any passing band wagon.For someone who almost provided us with an upset in Ponty in the General Election one would have thought he would have wanted to use the opportunity to meet the voters but apparently not.
One aspect of the rally was support from the Platform for A Yes vote on the March 3rd referendum. Whilst in truth I didn't feel any huge enthusiasm for this from those present, there was no negative reaction despite the fact there was an attempt by true Wales to hijack the event.
As the march started I saw a giant inflatable pig being held by a group waiting to join in, At first I naturally thought it was a protest against Bankers and as you can see it was impressive.
Imagine my disappointment when I realised it was a stunt by True Wales NO campaign who attached themselves to the rear of the march. If however they felt they had somehow ingrained themselves they were deluded."Why are they here? was a question that was asked by more than one marcher and they seemed to have made very few friends. Indeed the stunt seemed to have backfired and I felt the majority attending felt only resentment towards them.
There will be other Rallies and I hope the numbers will grow and despite the Unions almost incestuous attachment to the Labour Party, they need and deserve our support . In fact no Party should seek an electoral advantage in claiming they are the lead in fighting the cuts in this battle we are really "All in it together".