Westport Labour protest closure of Unemployed Resource Centre - Political Quote

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Westport Labour protest closure of Unemployed Resource Centre

The Westport Branch of the Labour Party staged a short protest on Mill St to call for the continued operation of the Westport Resource Centre for the Unemployed. A crowd of 25 members and friends of the Branch gathered outside the locked door of the centre on Saturday morning to protest at the centre’s sudden closure.

Addressing the protest Cllr Keith Martin said that “Westport’s greatest resource are its people, the people who live and work here and those who travel from near and far to live and work here.

“The ICTU has for almost two decades provided a resource for all, a resource valued by this town and those seeking work and information.

“In the greater Westport area there are hundreds of marginalised, low income and unemployed people in this town who need help with their CVs, job and social welfare entitlements, training information and rely on resources like these to meet their needs what more every year Westport is home to 800 non national workers who work in our town and who need advice, information and help.

“Westport is a town without a FAS office, without a Citizens Information Centre, without a Money Advice and Budgeting Service, without consumer information or trade union office.

“All of these were in some form fulfilled or deputised for by the Westport Resource Centre. We believe that with proper marketing of the centres facilities and by honing and augmenting those services we can ensure this centre remains a viable asset to our town and the workforce.

“Westport Resource Centre is here for the marginalised in Westport’s Society and the Westport Branch of the Labour party is here today to call for the retention of his valuable resource.”

Concluding his address to the crowd Cllr Martin said that the Branch would be calling on the Mayo ICTU to re-establish the Westport Trades Union Council and to re-open this centre. He said the branch were preparing a proposal for Mayo ICTU, which will deal with funding and future planning, to ensure the Westport Resource centre remains open and viable.

Cllr Martin added that this proposal and campaign would be headed up by Labour an action committee to put this proposal together and if necessary to plan a campaign of action to raise this issue at all levels of the Trade Union movement, the Labour Party and the local, regional and national media.

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