Why do we need TUC unemployed workers’ centres?
Here’s one of many good reasons from Derbyshire UWC in Chesterfield.
Lorry driver John Watkins devoped acute tennis elbow which ended up with his whole right arm, from shoulder to fingers, put in a cast.
So John is called for a medical assessement at private healthcare consultants Atos Healthcare, part of international service providers Atos Origin and found fit for work. John’s surgeon had advised him not to use his arm at all, yet the Atos doctor judge that he could use both arms to lift a bulky object. So no points for John Watkins and the loss of £25.50 a week.
So, with the assistance of DUWC’s Andrew Parkes, John appealed the decision but even then only got 6 points (you need 15 to be judged incapable of work) so it was off to tribunal and then after much to-ing and fro-ing it was finally accepted that John could not work and he got the £25.50 per week backdated to the 13th week of his claim. A result all round.
This just one example of the work that TUC unemployed workers’ centres do and which is amplified by the recent financial ‘returns’ of Prescott and Whiston Community Advice Centre in Merseyside.
Between July and September this year they won £423,770 in Disability Living Allowance for 197 people who came through their doors and a further £106,944 for 39 people seeking income support (an average of £2,151 and £2,742 per person respectively) making a real difference to those people’s lives.
As trade unionists you can also make a difference by supporting your local TUC unemployed workers’ centre either by getting directly involved or getting your union or trades union council to support the local centre financially. Regular contibutions through Direct Debit can be made to local One Fund for All schemes. Contact your local UWC for more information. By supporting the UWC movement you ensure that the unwaged are brought into contact with the trade union movement. UWC contact details can be found by going to the online directory of TUC UWCs at http://http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-17320-f0.cfm#a