Welfare conference – unions at the heart of the welfare state

Unite Community Leeds & Wakefield

The conference was called by the TUC National Consultative Committee for Unemployed Workers’ Centres and was held on Friday 27th February

The conference was attended by about 100 people, including Unite Community delegates from various regions across the country, with 8 representatives in attendance from our own region of the North East, Yorkshire & Humberside.

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Background

The background to the day was a recognition that unemployed and disabled people have suffered particularly from the government’s austerity measures and social security reforms. The reforms have brought increased poverty, depression, and even suicide for some, while there is also evidence of an increase in disability hate crime. Claimants are forced into low paid, insecure and exploitative work, and state payments are used to subsidise low pay.

Through formal presentations and workshops, the conference aimed to produce a charter for welfare and explore ways in which collective action could be mobilised in…

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