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Unemployed Workers and Claimants Union

Ben Pritchett | 11.01.2010 23:08 | Health | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | Oxford

This is a callout for people to take part in setting up an Unemployed Workers and Claimants Union in Oxford.

I am currently unemployed and on jobseekers allowance (aka the dole). Apparently that is quite a common situation to be in right now, and with unemployment going up, whilst welfare is being cut, I think the time is ripe to set up an Unemployed Workers and Claimants Union in Oxford.

I understand that there was one here in the '90s, which was based at the East Oxford Community Centre, but whilst various people remember it, I so far haven't been able to contact anyone who was involved. So at the moment I would like to learn about the old group, but it may be necessary to start a new one pretty much from scratch.

The idea for the union (as per usual) is that it should be self-organised and led by unemployed people and claimants, but especially at the start it would be really helpful to have the involvement of as many sympathetic activists as possible to catalyze things, employed or otherwise. Hence this message!

My feeling is that beyond organising to defend the interests of this particular section of society, the group might be a very good way to give otherwise disenfranchised people a forum around which they can become politically active, so I hope it will lead to linkups with the other campaigns that use indymedia.

So far, I have set up a facebook group, called 'Towards an Unemployed Workers Union in Oxford', which you are welcome to join. If you are not on facebook, please email me and I will keep you informed of relevant information until we set up a more accessible group. Riseup seems like an obvious online venue, but we are currently waiting for them to allow the creation of new lists.

A very small number of us had a meeting last weekend, to get the ball rolling. If you are interested in the ideas that we discussed, drop me an email and I can forward you some rough minutes that I typed up. We plan to hold another meeting this Sunday 17th at 4pm. Again, let me know your email and I will send the location and time when it is confirmed.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Ben Pritchett
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