Four prominent Welsh Conservative MPs will receive visits from groups of Grinch lookalikes this week. Public service workers angry at the UK government’s continued seven-year pay cap will invoke the fictional character who famously wanted to ruin Christmas time. They will warn the MPs not to “steal our pay rise.”
Healthcare and local authority staff dressed as the Grinch will present giant Christmas cards on behalf of Wales’ 390,000 public service workers at the constituency offices of Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns MP, Guto Bebb MP, Stephen Crabb MP and David Jones MP. The message inscribed reads: public service workers deliver essential services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year but the government pay freeze has seen their pay cut by over a fifth. This Christmas support public service workers and stand up for your community.
The Christmas-themed stunts have been organised by UNISON and the trade union has promised a colourful and loud presence outside the constituency offices, with the assembled crowds singing Christmas carols featuring alternative lyrics to reflect the deep frustration of public service workers and their families.
Margaret Thomas, UNISON Cymru Wales regional secretary
“When thousands of people in your community are in a desperate situation, that’s when you need your MP to stand up for them. After seven years of pay caps and freezes have reduced public service workers’ pay by a fifth, people are really struggling to pay the bills. Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns should be banging the Cabinet table, telling the Prime Minister people here are suffering. We need to hear the voices of Guto Bebb, Stephen Crabb and David Jones. None of them made any contribution to last week’s Parliamentary debate on public sector pay. By staying silent, they are failing to represent their constituents.
“An immediate end to the pay cap would transform thousands and thousands of lives in Wales and that means more money on Welsh high streets for local businesses too. That is the message Welsh Conservative MPs must tell their government this Christmas. Public service workers are the just-about-managing families that Theresa May promised to stand by and we want her to make good on her promise.”
UNISON has drawn attention to the fact that the number of its members in the constituencies of Alun Cairns, Stephen Crabb and Guto Bebb are greater than the majorities held by the MPs. The trade union has warned the politicians they ignore public service workers at their peril.
Notes for editors
- Details of the events are:
Tuesday 12 December
12.30pm: outside Stephen Crabb MP’s constituency office, Winston Churchill House, 20 Upper Market St, Haverfordwest SA61 1QA
Wednesday 13 December
11 am: outside Guto Bebb MP’s constituency office, 1 Ashdown House, Riverside Business Park, Conwy, LL32 8UB. Mr Bebb is a government whip and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Wales.
12pm: outside David Jones MP’s constituency office, 3 Llewelyn Road, Colwyn Bay, LL29 7AP.
Thursday 14 December
12pm: outside Alun Cairns MP’s constituency office, Unit 6, BSC 2, Hood Road, Barry CF62 5QL
- Photographs from the events can be made available to media outlets on request.
- Journalists wishing to attend to interview UNISON spokespeople should advise Alastair Gittins in advance.
Alastair Gittins, UNISON Press Officer on 07816 538397