Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Saturday, 10 April 2010 12:41 UK

Protest over public sector cuts

Union members demonstrating in Glasgow
Demonstrators were urged to fight to protect public services

Thousands of union members have joined a demonstration in Glasgow against public service cuts.

Unison, the public services union, is holding a march and rally in the city's west end to urge Scots to defend their services as the general election looms.

Unison said about 2,500 people took part in the event.

Unison's Scottish convenor said the cuts were threatening various services, from classroom assistants' hours to mobile libraries and meals on wheels.

Convenor Mike Kirby said: "Unison members, who deliver services across Scotland, are reporting that cuts are already threatening services for Scots from the cradle to the grave.

"And this is just the start of a sustained period of attacks on the public sector.

Our members didn't cause the crash, and neither did the people we serve every day in communities across Scotland
Gerry Gallagher
Unison UK president

"As politicians vie with one another to out trump each other's cuts to pay for the bail out of the banks, we urge our members and community campaigns to join Unison's Public Works campaign.

"We will urge them to tell politicians at all levels - in Westminster, in Holyrood and locally, that you will not accept cuts in our vital public services to bail out the fat cats."

Unison's UK president, Gerry Gallagher, STUC general secretary, Grahame Smith, and the Scottish president of the Public and Commercial Services Union, Janice Godrich, also attended the march.

'Own story'

A similar demonstration was held in London's Trafalgar Square at the same time.

Mr Gallagher will say: "In Glasgow and in London today our key message is that public services should not suffer because of the bank bailout.

"Our members didn't cause the crash, and neither did the people we serve every day in communities across Scotland.

"You all have your own story to tell. And tell them you should.

"Because it is the combined voice of public service workers and service users that need to be heard in corridors of power."

The marchers set off from Kelvin Way, walked through the west end before holding a rally in Kelvingrove Park.

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