FIVE-HUNDRED activists are expected to descend on Barry town centre this Saturday as part of a rally hosted by Wales’ biggest union, in a protest over public sector pay.

Unison Cymru Wales is staging the demonstration this Saturday, November 4, to voice their discontent against austerity measures implemented by the UK government, as well as calling for an end to the pay cap for public sector workers.

Union officials chose to hold the event in Barry to put pressure on Vale of Glamorgan MP and secretary of state for Wales, Alun Cairns, who members claim has not done enough to support Welsh causes in Westminster.

The event will include musical performances as well as talks from Vale AM Jane Hutt, senior trade union figures and Wales and Everton football legend Neville Southall.

Unison’s head of local government in Wales, Dominic MacAskill, says he wants to see a change in government policy when the Autumn Budget in published later this month.

“The theme of the rally is ‘save our services’ and the title reflects the fact that local government services have had year on year cuts in their budgets over the last seven years,” said Mr MacAskill.

“At the same time, the people who deliver these important services are made to subsidise their delivery through freezes in their pay. This rally and march is to say enough is enough.”

Mr MacAskill says that he and other local Unison members were turned away when they went to visit Mr Cairns in Westminster recently, so they decided to bring their message home to Barry.

“We tried to see Alun Cairns in London last week and he declined to see the people that provide public services in his constituency.

“The message that we want to give to him is that we want him to be Wales’ champion in Westminster, not Westminster’s austerity champion in Wales.”

“What we’re hoping is for is a change in government policy and a loosening of their obsession with austerity. Public services are the wealth of the many and they are being cut back.

“Alun Cairns’ majority is 2,190, while Unison has almost 3,000 members in his constituency, so even just for his political future he should really be paying attention to our members and not ignoring them when they come to London to see him.”

Alun Cairns has declined to comment on the matter.

The rally is set to begin at 12 noon in King’s Square, Barry, before marching down Holton Road to the Civic Building at 1.30pm.