Workers Lobby Tuc – To Defend Jobs And Oppose Cuts!

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A NUMBER of workers have been lobbying the TUC to demand support and action in defence of jobs and against cuts.

Amicus members were lobbying against the probable closure of the Dara defence plant at St Athan in south Wales.

Catherine Speight, Amicus Welsh regional secretary, told News Line: ‘We are lobbying delegates and raising the profile of our issue.

‘The government have made a decision to take maintenance work from Dara and put it back into the RAF.

‘This puts 1,000 jobs at risk and the whole site is being put in jeopardy.

‘The RAF can’t do this work.

‘They haven’t got the capability.

‘And we know now BAe is doing a lot of Dara work.

‘We’re calling on the Ministry of Defence to reverse its decision.’

Firefighters from Kent and Sussex also lobbied the conference.

They are fighting the merger of control rooms which they say will lead to a loss of jobs and threaten the safety of the public.

Mark Simmons, Fire Brigades Union South East Regional Officer, told News Line: ‘We’re here today to lobby the conference to gain support for our campaign to keep local fire controls in local brigades.

‘The government’s plan is to axe 46 local control rooms and open nine super call centres.

‘Our fears are that local knowledge will be lost.

‘In the south east there will be one call centre to cover six brigades. That’s a large area. From Kent to Oxfordshire and down to the Isle of Wight.

‘At the moment the local control operators have local knowledge and know the procedures of the local brigades.

‘Opening a call centre will see all that knowledge and experience lost.

‘In Kent, four to five control operators in each brigade are on duty at any one time.

‘The proposal for a regional call centre will cut the numbers to the entire region to one call operator per brigade.

‘There is a danger of these call centres reaching saturation point.

‘At the moment we are trying to convince the government to change its mind but in the next few months we will be upping our industrial campaign.’

l GMB and Amicus members were lobbying the TUC on Tuesday to defend jobs at Remploy.

They handed out leaflets which said: ‘Remploy, Britain’s largest employer of disabled people, proposes to take skilled cutting work out of the Central Cutting Unit in Birkenhead.

‘Over the years, the CCU has produced goods of the most exacting standards for the MoD and other government agencies.

‘The chemical, biological and nuclear protection suits issued to our troops in Iraq were cut in the CCU.

‘The company’s proposals for CCU are an attack on the skills base for disabled people.

‘Not only for the CCU but for all of Remploy.’

The leaflet added: ‘To throw away these skills and replace skilled work with menial tasks simply reduces Remploy into nothing more than a day centre.

‘The workers in CCU and in Remploy deserve more than that.

‘The workers in the sites where Remploy proposes to move the work to: Leven, Stirling, Cowdenbeath, Dundee etc, also deserve better.

‘They are being set up by Remploy for a fall.

‘If this proposal goes ahead, and these factories have to cut on site, they will fail.

‘What happens then to the workers who have done their best against impossible odds? More skills loss and more menial, soul-destroying work.’

The unions conclude in their message to TUC delegates: ‘The workers in CCU need and rely on your support to protect their skills, their jobs and their dignity.’