Trades Union Council should be re-established in Westport - Political Quote

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Trades Union Council should be re-established in Westport

Cllr Martin is calling for the ICTU in Mayo to re-establish the Westport Trades Union Council which was amalgamated with Castlebar. Councillor Keith Martin of the Westport Branch of the Labour Party has also appealed to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to revoke their decision to close the Westport Resource Centre.

Cllr Martin says the Westport Centre for the Unemployed is a vital piece of Westport’s social and economic infrastructure which must remain in place at all costs and says the centre could and should be run under the auspicious of a newly established Trades Union Council in Westport.

Cllr Martin, who serves on the Westport Town Council Enterprise Taskforce, says the centre is a vital tool for the unemployed, the marginalised and those in need of advice in the town.

According to the Labour councillor “The centre provides skills and services to those seeking employment that are unavailable elsewhere. It provides information on social welfare and work entitlements and is a link to advocacy, consumer rights, and union membership and is a great resource for employers who can advertise positions at the centre. Indeed, the centre often puts applicants in touch with employers there and then.

Westport Centre for the Unemployed was there for this town when things were bad and in a successful economy it is still a vital tool for those seeking work and for those in need of help and we must not walk away from it now.

There are no other resources like the Centre in town. We have no Citizens Advice Bureau, Money Advice and Budgeting Service, FAS, Consumer Affairs or Trade Union offices in Westport.

We have never been as well off as a society then we are now and it is ironic that it is the ICTU who are closing up this workers’ resource over funding. I am calling on the ICTU in Mayo and at nationwide level to re-examine the situation and to give the centre local management who are best able to source additional funding and decide on how best to meet the town’s needs.”

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