Sunderland Welfare Action Group (SWAG) are a grassroots organisation focused on fighting welfare cuts, improving the welfare service in our local community and generally defending the working class people against persistent attacks on us.
Society should exist for the protection and provision of its people, and that all who form part of that society have an equal right to its benefits. Among these benefits, we count the right to a sufficient income, decent housing, adequate health and education, and equal treatment and consideration in the drafting and enforcement of the laws. In the current society, the public interest is regularly ignored and sacrificed, and instead acts in the interests of the rich ruling minority.
We demand creation and protection of decent jobs paying a living wage. To do this, we need to forge links between employed and unemployed workers, both to prevent bosses from using the unemployed to undercut wages and conditions, and to try and ease the impact of unemployment on workers when job losses do occur.
We want to stop poverty and unemployment, which are related to creating all kinds of further problems like domestic violence, crime, health issues – both mental and physical – racism and anti-social behaviour. Worse still, these issues tend to perpetuate themselves so they continue to have a negative impact across multiple generations.
We believe that racism and nationalism are constantly used to divide and weaken the working class. Bosses use cheap foreign labour to increase their profit margins while the media whips up hysteria that blames immigrants for job losses and pay cuts. The only way to defeat this divide-and-rule strategy is for immigrants to be given equal legal employment rights, so immigrant labour can’t be used to undercut wages.
To achieve our demands we are actively involved in campaigning on issues directly related to welfare and raising issues that we think are going to negatively affect people dependent on the welfare system.
We want to help people on an individual basis who are experiencing problems with issues such as the benefits system, debt, housing, employment and public services. We aim to do this by giving advice, support and help through direct action, or pointing people towards resources and other organisations where they get the required advice and help.
SWAG supports and takes part in the national network ‘No To Welfare Abolition‘.
We encourage people to come along and get involved in the group.
Contact us welfareaction[at]gmail.com