the day it turned out to be the biggest trade union demonstration in
Coventry since the 1970s. They came in their hundreds from all parts of
the city and from all public sector trade unions as well as from trade
unions that were not on strike that day - the FBU was well represented.
By the time of the rally at the end of the march through Coventry city
centre some 2,500 trade unionists and their families were crammed into
the area known as Speakers Corner opposite the Council building.
looking down from the Castle saw history being
below them as Johnston Terrace was jammed with
clerks, cooks and cleaners,
teachers, librarians, radiographers, nurses,
lectures, bin men and women,
jannies, curators, students, thousands more of
good humoured but determined
public sector workers and their bairns
determined not to be “robbed of their
pension”, as I was told by a First Davison
Association (top management
union) picket at the court.
More than two million public sector
workers took strike action yesterday. That amounted to a virtual general
strike of the public sector. In terms of numbers, the action was bigger
than the “Winter of Discontent” in 1979 - bigger even than the 1926 General Strike. Even The Financial Times, the organ of Big Business, surprisingly described Wednesday’s strike as “undoubtedly historic”.