Leeds YFJ Rallies the Resistance to Cuts, Workfare and the Budget

Part of the protest rally in Dortmund Square today

Leeds Youth Fight for Jobs organised a rally against workfare and the cuts as a counter to the further attacks announced against working people today. Over 50 people joined us in Dortmund Square in a protest supported by many local anti-cuts groups this evening, with many people passing by stopping to listen to the speeches being made.

Iain Dalton, Yorkshire Organiser – Youth Fight for Jobs

Speeches included Rhiannon, a YFJ activist currently on the Work Programme; Tanis, a student union officer at Leeds Trinity Union and I spoke as well about how workfare is exploiting retail workers too. We also heard speakers from CND, Keep Our NHS Public, UCU, Unison and PCS, as well as a speech in solidarity with workers facing repression in Kazakhstan (for more info see http://campaignkazakhstan.org/)

Youth Fight for Jobs activists also got a great response to our petition against workfare, with several people asking for more info about Youth Fight for Jobs and quite a few copies of the latest issue of the Spark (YFJ magazine) being sold.

Re-instate Vik Checki

Supporters of Youth Fight for Jobs will be upset to learn that YFJ activist and QMU Unison branch secretary Vik Checki has been suspended by his employers. This comes at a time when Vik has been helping lead a fight to stop 100 redundancies at QMU as well as being in the forefront of the fight against other attacks on public sector workers in the area. Below we publish a protest letter to Vik’s employers and encourage all our supporters to send similar letters to Queen Mary University, c.pearson@qmul.ac.uk and ‘Centre of the Cell’ (part of Queen Mary University) f.balkwill@qmul.ac.uk. Please also send copies to the National Shop Stewards Network at info@shopstewards.net

To whom it may concern,

I was shocked to hear that this afternoon, Vik Checki, branch secretary of Queen Mary’s University (QMU) UNISON had been suspended from his employment at that university.

Alongside other activists, Vik has over the past few months been re-energising the UNISON branch at the university, as well having been heavily involved campaigning against the 100 redundancies threatened at QMU. It is a disgrace that you have chosen to suspend Vik, which strikes me as a clear case of trying to weaken a newly revitalised union branch.

Vik Checki should be reinstated immediately. Such attacks as these will not be allowed to suceed and if they continue, myself and other activists in Youth Fight for Jobs will do all we can to support Vik and other workers at QMU to defend their jobs.

Yours Sincerely,

Iain Dalton,
Yorkshire Organiser, Youth Fight for Jobs

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