County Durham Socialist Clothing Bank

The following motion was passed at the last meeting of the Northern TUC. This is fantastic news.

Motion to the Northern TUC:

In support for the County Durham Socialist Clothing Bank

Proposed by Unite the Union

The sustained attacks on people’s living standards through the Con Dem government’s  austerity policies have put more and more people into poverty. Research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows half of people in poverty are in working households. Those in receipt of social security have seen their living standards collapse with food banks in most towns as a result of savage cuts to benefits and support. Across the North East and Cumbria communities are rallying around some of the hardest hit.

It is in this context that the Northern TUC welcomes the creation of the County Durham Socialist Clothing Bank, while decrying the policies that make it necessary. We commend the women in County Durham who have created a means of supporting families who are priced out of charity shops and note the support they’ve received from trade unions. They have received interest and support from around the country to establish similar initiatives in areas of great need.

The Northern TUC is dismayed at the recent public attack on the initiative by Stockton South Conservative MP James Wharton. This has since led to online threats and intimidation of the project’s founders. The Northern TUC stands resolutely with this project and urges all trade unions in our region to donate, volunteer and practically support it in whichever way it can, while campaigning against the austerity policies that have caused this crisis.

Neil Foster

Policy and Campaigns Officer

Northern, Yorkshire & the Humber regions

Durham Unite In The Community Branch would like to thank all who have contributed to the success of The Clothing Bank- our fellow Trade Unionists; all those who have donated clothes, toiletries  and other items and also those who have given their time to support the initiative. However the biggest thanks should go to Dawn and Catherine who founded the Clothing Bank.

Contrary to current media propaganda being poor and/or on benefits is not a crime nor does it make you a bad person. Initiatives like the Clothing Bank show that by pulling together we can make a difference to our communities and assist those who have fallen on hard times. And those hard times are caused by unemployment, ill heath, zero hours contracts, low pay and rising costs. Solidarity and thank you once again.

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