Save Our Women's Hostel - Solidarity with Workers Occupation!
The Industrial Workers of the World have extended its solidarity to worker's currently entering their 10th day of occupation at a Women’s Hostel in Belfast.
Workers at Regina Coeli House hostel took direct action following advance notice of staff redundancies at the homeless women. Worker's involved in the 24/7 "Work-in" occupation, the first type of worker led action seen in Belfast for several years, are demanding that the essential service is saved from closure.
In a number of communications leading up to the occupation, workers at Regina Coeli House were informed that it will close on Sunday February 27th. However, in a campaign to help save the services, staff directly involved in maintaining the hostel agreed to place the women's shelter under workers control.
The campaign, which has received widespread community solidarity, looks set to continue until such a time when all redundancies is withdrawn, services are properly supported and the essential service is kept open. An online petition in solidarity with Regina Coeli House has also seen a dramatic increase in messages of solidarity while workers involved in the occupation have received a steady flow of support and solidarity from the community and the trade union movement. A spokesperson for the Industrial Workers of the World said that "This is as much an attack on workers as it is on the community. In times when the pandemic has been hitting those more vulnerable in our society, political institutions have been furthering cuts in essential community services which have been working tiresly to fill the void unattended by the state.
"They are providing care and support for those most affected by unemployment, homelessness and poverty particularly women, trans and non binary people, single parents, BAME, migrant and precarious workers.
"These community services are a lifeline for many people who usually fall through the cracks of the system and respond to the needs of many experiencing gender, police and state violence.
"These jobs losses will not only represent an attack on the livelihood of the workers affected, but the livelihood of many others who depend on them. We support the workers of Regina Coeli House in their actions of defending workers jobs and defending our community services!"
Support for their campaign can be signed at the following link: https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/keep-our-women-s-hostel-open-save-regina-coeli-house