Wednesday, 9 November 2011

TUC comes to Derby to see the impact of spending cuts on the city

Frances O'Grady, TUC Deputy General Secretary
TUC Deputy General Secretary Frances O’Grady is today (Wednesday) visiting the Midlands as part of a nationwide tour to see at first hand the impact of government spending cuts upon jobs and services across the UK. Since May Frances and TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber have been travelling to various parts of England to meet workers and service providers whose lives and jobs have been affected as a direct result of government austerity measures.
Today’s visit to the Midlands kicks off at the Bombardier factory in Derby where Frances, accompanied by recently-appointed TUC Midlands Regional Secretary Rob Johnston, will meet managers and reps from the Unite and RMT unions. Whilst at the Litchurch Road site they will hear more about the ongoing campaign to save the 1,400 jobs now set to go at the factory because of the government’s decision not to award the Thameslink contract to the firm.
It’s then on to a lunchtime meeting of the region’s union leaders at Derby’s Hallmark Hotel on Midlands Road where Frances will learn more about the local impact of cuts and how plans for the TUC day of action for pensions justice on 30 November are progressing.
After lunch it’s off to JET, a charity based in Normanton Road in the south of the city, where Frances will meet with Mohammed Sharief the head of the charity. JET works closely with local unemployed residents to help them find work and access training opportunities.
The final stop of the day will be the city’s Silk Mill Industrial Museum which was mothballed earlier this year by Derby City Council. Here there will be a photo opportunity with some of the workers who lost their jobs in April when the museum closed its doors.
Commenting on the visit Frances O’Grady said: “Across the country, public sector workers are losing their jobs and vital services are being closed or cut back as the true impact of the government’s spending cuts starts to bite.
“Meanwhile the government’s fixation with deficit reduction is having a devastating impact on unemployment and job prospects, particularly for our young people, and the economy is struggling to get back on its feet. The UK desperately needs an economic plan B, one which puts growth and jobs at its heart. Without this the people of Derby and the rest of the UK will have little to look forward to.”
Midlands TUC Regional Secretary Rob Johnston said: “Derby has been at the forefront of the government’s self-defeating austerity measures – from the closure of the Silk Mill Museum that houses much of the city’s industrial heritage, to the ill-thought out Bombardier factory decision. The people of Derby have not had a good time in recent months.
“While Frances is here she’ll spend the day talking to ordinary residents and businesses to find out more about the impact that the government’s spending cuts are having here and across the wider Midlands region.”

Details of the visit (all timings are approximate):
10.30am–12.30pm: Bombardier, Litchurch Lane, Derby DE24 8AD
1.00pm–2.30pm: Meeting with union regional secretaries from across the Midlands – Hallmark Hotel, Midlands Road DE1 2SQ
2.30pm–3.30pm: JET, 284 - 286 Normanton Road, Derby DE23 6WD
3.45pm–4.30pm: Silk Mill Industrial Museum, Silk Mill Lane, off Full Street, DE1 3AF

- Interviews and photographs with Frances can be arranged through the Midlands TUC.
Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E:
Rob Johnston T: 0121 236 4454 M: 07879 497291 E:
Alan Weaver, Midlands TUC Press and Campaigns T: 0121 236 4454 M: 07771 778694 E:

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