TUC 2012: The Prison Officers Association is fully behind the demonstration organised by the TUC for October 20 and its theme for A Future That Works.
This demonstration will need the full support of the public because it is absolutely clear that the austerity measures being imposed on society are extremely damaging.
Communities up and down the breadth of Britain are reeling from the severe impact of these cuts.
The coalition government has embarked on a cuts agenda that is vindictive and class-driven.
The financial crash with Northern Rock and Lehman Brothers was the tip of the iceberg.
Trillions of pounds were injected into the banks globally to pay off bad debts that they had created - and still they paid out large bonuses.
Now the vulnerable, our children, the sick, the disabled and the unemployed along with hard-working public and private-sector workers are being told they are to pay for the mistakes and greed of others.
That is why there needs to be a coalition of resistance to protect those that have no voice.
The trade union movement is that voice and collectively we need to campaign and protest together.
Indeed the practicalities of a general strike should be considered.
This government is not embarrassed when it comes to considering further anti-trade union legislation in its attempts to silence workers and the trade unions they belong to.
So we should not be one bit embarrassed to consider our ultimate weapon to protect the future for our children, the elderly and the vulnerable who have no voice.
The reason trade unions have been shackled with statutory restrictions is because governments fear strong unions and healthy democracy.
Everything the trade union movement has gained has had to be fought for.
I'm afraid they will give us nothing unless we take it.
That is why the right to vote had to be fought for, concession by concession, through 300 years of mass struggle. Democracy has been under attack ever since.
With rising anger from communities and workers watching cut after cut come to fruition, the coalition government's attacks are growing stronger - because it feels threatened.
Collectively we need to keep the pressure on this government and ensure any other government that is formed is done so on the basis of A Future That Works.
The trade union movement must insist on policies that have a fairer taxation system that does not allow the rich and multinational companies to avoid paying tax.
At present £120 billion in tax is avoided across Britain - that is scandalous and unjust.
There can be an alternative to austerity. This country is crying out for investment in decently paid jobs that generate income which will stimulate the tax revenues to pay for credit or borrowed money, not the other way around.
Austerity measures have not worked in Greece, Ireland, Portugal or Spain - so what makes the government believe they will work here?
These are political decisions. Britain is not as broke as some politicians would have you believe.
The question that arises is whether the wealth of the rich and the banks continues to be used for private profit or is redistributed through progressive taxation for the public good.
We need to force an agenda of investment in jobs, affordable housing, and public services.
A housing crisis with millions of youngsters unable to afford a home has been created. We need to reverse this to give our youngsters hope for the future.
There is a lack of proper council houses. Instead people are forced to pay ridiculous rents to private landlords.
Our public services face extinction with the drive for privatisation from hospitals to prisons, from education to care for our elderly.
This needs to be reversed.
Investment in our public services that isn't based on profit for shareholders must be the manifesto of any future government.
The trade union movement can play a significant part in moving us to a fairer society for all, one which cares for its elderly, its disabled, its unemployed and our children.
We collectively are a force and will continue to be that driving force - that is why I say we should consider all our options. This government won't stop chasing us until we stop running.
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