A brief presentation of the Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group
The Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group (KUWG) is mentored by the Brent Trades Union Council. It was formed on the 28 July 2009 at the initiative of Sertuc, the South East Region of the Trade Union Congress in London. In that sense, the KUWG is an integral part of the British working class.
The KUWG recognises that the struggle of the employed and the unemployed is one and the same, but it also affirms that smear stories and marginalisation add to the isolation experienced by the unwaged. Thus in facilitating the coming together of benefit claimants at weekly meetings, we serve as a springboard for vulnerable claimants to confidently challenge the DWP’s draconian rules at the JobCentre, and mercenary Atos Healthcare and Work Programme companies, achieving victories and alleviating the suffering of the unwaged.
The KUWG accepts the solidarity of any helpful political organisation, but as the KUWG itself, it is not sharing its platform with any political group.
The KUWG operates mostly in the Brent and Camden areas, but individuals from beyond are welcome. Retired persons ready to give their time are welcome and can be very useful.
KUWG Web page: http://Kilburnunemployed.blogspot.com.
Facebook: Kilburn Unemployed Workers
The Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group (KUWG) meets every Thursday 3-5pm at the Kingsgate Community Centre, 107 Kingsgate Road, London NW6 2JH.
The KUWG works consistently to help resolve the problems of persons unfairly treated by the DWP and JobCentres, as well as by their devolved private companies like Atos, Maximus, Ingeus, A4E, Serco, Working Links, etc. The purpose of the KUWG is to defend our denied human dignity. Together, we build our mutual confidence to demand our rights. We denounce the demonization of the unemployed as if the availability of jobs depended on our individual disposition to work. We reject with indignation the DWP ‘Community Action Programme’ (CAP) that could force more than one million long-term Job Seekers (3 years) to work unpaid for six months if this particular Work Programme scheme is extended across the country. The 9 billion spent on the Olympics demonstrate that those in power can only find money, which they do, by keeping millions of human beings in poverty and dependency - like the women for instance - who organise, produce and reproduce the human race and civilisation without pay. This opens the door to every kind of abuse against the poor, the immigrant, the sick, the disabled and those forced to be dependent. Society is about more than making profits for the rich. The national taxation fund belongs to society, not to the rich. When we say we want JSA at £110 and the scrapping of the Work Programme, we are not asking for the rich to give us anything. We are telling them that they don’t have the right to say no.
We demand that those on ESA ‘support’ should not be forced into the ESA ‘Work Related’ category because these persons need to work at getting well instead of looking for work.
Whenever possible and necessary, the KUWG accompany our friends to DWP or Atos interviews and meetings. The KUWG condemns the mean and cruel Welfare Reform Bill that was largely being implemented before it became law. This Bill lends to the State the devious right to abandon its duty of social care, as well as to overrule the expert advice of the medical profession in all matters relating to welfare. We condemn the Labour leaderships, past and present, for having connived with this barbarism - fearing us, and consistently negating our power to help them defeat this capitalist onslaught.
When the PCS union went on strike, the PCS, KUWG, BrentFightback, Women’s groups and Left political organisations formed a solidarity picket-line in front of the Kilburn JobCentrePlus, Cambridge Avenue, London NW6. The KUWG, Brent Fightback and the Brent Trades Council are involved in campaigns to stop people being evicted through the cuts in Housing Benefits. This added punishment drives individuals to homelessness, unacceptable suffering and even suicide. The above organisations are also preparing for a public meeting and demonstration/rally on 15 Sept 2012 (noon from Harlesden Jubilee Clock, march to Central Middlesex) against the ‘fusion’ of hospitals and the creeping privatisation of schools.
KUWG is part of the South Kilburn “Counting the Human Cost of Cuts”. That group campaigns in support of the Criklewood Bus driver and Unite Member Anthony Counihan - his wife Isabel and their 5 children, against their eviction from the Borough of Brent by Brent Council - and in support of persons like Nygell Firminger, ex-KUWG member who is believed to have committed suicide after losing his benefits, his casual job and his flat, amongst other problems. Like the firstname.lastname@example.org, the KUWG says: “Housing for all!”
The KUWG works in a democratic manner so that everybody has a voice, and the experiences of everyone can be used constructively. Under the banner of the unemployed, it is our intention to work in solidarity with those fighting against the welfare and housing cuts. We believe that the conditions exist for the creation of a London-wide, national and international organisation of the unemployed. Please help distribute our leaflets, attend our regular weekly meetings and help us organise our collective power to build life, our lives, ourselves.
The KUWG is part of the London Coalition against Poverty (LCAP) that links together similar groups in London. Some of our members have taken part in, and contributed to the St Paul’s Occupy London Stock Exchange camp. We intervened also in the Brent Peoples Assembly organised by BrentFightback. We hope to make links with all possible organisations of the Unemployed Youth, locally, in London and beyond.
The KUWG holds regular Workshops and public meetings with particular speakers. On Nov 8th 2012, we had a One Million Climate Change Jobs speaker. On Nov 15, Pilgrim Tucker from Unite. Nov 22, Speak Out Against Psychiatry and Nov 29, Previous Unemployed Movements.
KUWG asks sympathetic organisations and benefactors to link up with us and to make donations. The KUWG thank the Brent TUC and the Trade Unions that have helped us so far.
Alan Wheatley, Secretary
Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group – 10.11.12
We urge Trade Unions and Community Funding groups to help us fight the battles that will complement their own in their workplaces and communities.