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Harlow Euro MP backs strikers

Politics / Fri 11th Jul 2014 at 06:16am

LABOUR Euro MP for Harlow and the East of England, Richard Howitt has defended public sector workers who went on strike on Thursday.

Over one million teachers, firefighters, local government and other public sector workers nationally are expected to have taken part in the industrial action to protest against cuts to their wages, pensions and the services they provide.

In his message to the strikers, former Harlow Council leader Mr Howitt said: “Today the whole community should understand that you are being forced to take part in this action, because public sector workers care most about the services you provide and the people you provide them for.

“None of us would ever excuse negligence in the vital work you undertake, but concerns about the treatment of elderly people in hospitals or adequate protection in children’s homes cannot be separated from whether there are sufficient staff and whether they are fairly rewarded for their work?

“You cannot drive up standards by driving down wages.”

He insisted the responsibility for the disruption should be laid squarely on the Conservative-led Government.

“Conservatives cannot attempt to deny Labour claims of a ‘cost of living crisis’ when they have already cut the real wage of public sector workers by £2,200 since they came to power and now only offer the prospect of below inflation wage increases for the next four years.

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