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Newport Demo to save the Passport Office
Newport Demo to save the Passport Office: John McInally, Vice president, Public and Commercial Services union, with the IPS group banner , photo Socialist Party Wales
Everyone in Newport has been incensed by the decision to close the Passport Office here.
Katrine Williams, PCS Wales Chair
In just a few days the whole community mobilised and a good thousand people came on the noisy demonstration around Newport city centre last Saturday.
PCS members working in the Passport Office have been tremendously boosted by the mass support that they have received.
Youth Fight for Jobs on the Newport Demo to save the Passport Office , photo Socialist Party Wales
It has also given workers across Wales a high profile example of a union standing up for its members and against the cuts.
PCS is arguing that the cuts would devastate the local community, damage the service to the public and are absolutely not necessary.
So the impact of this campaign will be key in the week when we are building the opposition to what the ConDem Government wants to implement for the whole of the public sector.
Newport Demo to save the Passport Office , photo Socialist Party Wales
Every shade of politician came to the rally to show support with the local Labour AMs and MPs fully backing the campaign to stop the closure of this local office, as well as Leanne Wood the Plaid Cymru AM who is the chair of the PCS Assembly group.
Even the Tory council leader turned up to show his and the local Tory/Lib Dem Council's support to keep the Newport Passport Office open.
He got rightly booed when he said that cuts need to be made.
PCS is making clear that all cuts in the Identity and Passport Service are unacceptable and unnecessary and that there should be no office closures anywhere in the UK.
There were reps from the different passport offices across the country to show their solidarity as well as John McInally PCS Vice-President who spoke about how the union is mobilising to fight all the cuts and argue that there is a real alternative to the cuts.
It is not enough for local politicians to just oppose the local cuts we want them to actively stand up against the cuts agenda as a whole.
Newport Demo to save the Passport Office: Alex Gordon, RMT President, addressing rally, photo Socialist Party Wales
Other unions also mobilised to show their support with reps and members from the CWU, UNISON, NASUWT, UCU and the RMT there.
Alex Gordon the RMT President delivered a strong message of solidarity from his union and told the Passport workers that however much initially members might have thought they were on their own this was not the case and that fighting trade unions will stick together, show solidarity and work together to coordinate strike action against the cuts.
We will work hard now to make the Wales Demonstration against the cuts called by 5 trade unions - PCS, UCU, CWU, FBU and RMT on 23rd October a success to show the trade union opposition to the cuts in Wales.