Derek Vaughan MEP

Working hard for Wales in Europe

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Welsh Euro MP signals campaign support by visit to threatened Newport Passport Office

Welsh Labour MEP, Derek Vaughan, will be meeting with staff and trade unionists at the Passport Office in Newport this Friday (22 October 2010) to join them in calling for the Tory-Lib Dem coalition to think again and reverse their closure decision which will create hundreds of job losses.

Mr Vaughan, a former PCS trade union official, said that the move would not only take away an important service for people in Wales but also have a huge impact on the local economy.  He also pledged to fully support employees and their families affected by the plan as much as possible.

He said:

"By decimating a key public sector employer in Newport and distancing the Passport Service from the people of South Wales, the sheer arrogance and disdain shown by the Tories and Lib Dems has been breathtaking.

Unfortunately, given the news this week on the Severn Barrage and the St Athan Training Academy, a pattern is emerging that is not good news for Wales.

Staff at the Passport Office now face an uncertain future, as we approach Christmas, to see whether they will have a job come the New Year.  It is a massive blow to them, their families, local communities and the wider economy in South East Wales.

Wales will now be the only European country without a single, proper Passport Office.  This is clearly unacceptable."

Mr Vaughan praised the response of campaigners fighting to retain the office in Newport:

"What this has undoubtedly shown is the resilience of people in Newport who are not prepared to take it lying down.  Staff, trade unions, local people, their elected representatives and local media organisations have stood together, pressing the case with passion and commitment but also with great dignity.

I hope that UK Government Ministers will now sit up and take notice."

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