LONDON – More than 500 Filipino medical workers were among those who participated in the huge protest last week dubbed as the “March for the Alternative” of the Trade Union Congress in the United Kingdom
The event gathered an estimated 300,000 protesters who denounced budget cuts in public services and welfare benefits as well as reforms in the National Health Service (NHS).
Aside from the nurses, teachers, students, union members and organized labor groups also joined the rally.
The Pinoy marchers believe the budget cut will eventually cut off employment opportunities for new Filipino nursing graduates to give way to EU citizens.
Louie Yambao has been working as a nurse in London for 9 years now. Yambao said the only way that nurses can come in thru London is via student visa, which requires a 10-hour work policy weekly.
However, this is not enough to sustain living conditions in London.
Although the Pinoys joined the rally, they were not involved in the clashes between police and a breakaway group of protesters who attacked commercial establishments along Oxford and Regent Streets. Danny Buenafe, ABS-CBN Europe and Middle East News Bureau chief