Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/437/5169

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 April 2006

Department for Work and Pensions strike: Defend jobs and services

ONE HUNDRED thousand Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members are being forced to take national strike action. We are fighting against the destruction of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the service it provides to millions of vulnerable claimants.

Katrine Williams, PCS DWP Wales, personal capacity

The management and the government are intent on smashing the service by a massive programme of job cuts and privatisation.

17,000 staff have been cut since 2004. The DWP Select Committee have slated the bad service the DWP provides to the public. But ministers are stating that everything is now fine.

Practically everyone working in the DWP can see this as complete spin. It does not reflect the massive pressure that we are all under.

On my team we have a maximum of three people answering income support calls and queries in Cardiff - a city with tens of thousands of people claiming this benefit. We have to tell members of the public that they cannot get help filling in forms or advice face-to-face in local offices, whatever the circumstances.

This is at the same time as we are surrounded by posters emphasising that customer service is the number one priority in JobCentreplus. Then, whilst we are suffering under unbearable pressure and stress in our work, we face draconian implementation of sickness absence rules. Management are using the rules to harass us into coming into work when we are ill or face disciplinary penalties which could result in us being sacked. It is just a cheap way to cut jobs and bully our members. This puts additional pressure on us as we struggle to provide a service and as a consequence have to face an increasingly frustrated and angry public.

It is hardly surprising that we are determined to push management back to the negotiating table and show our support for PCS by coming out on strike on the 2 and 3 May.

NEW TECHNOLOGY, rather than making our working lives easier, is increasing the pressure on us. Apart from the fact that private companies are making a fortune out of providing inadequate systems - management are also presuming that they can replace essential jobs with these systems before even testing them out properly.

The same work and information is now being handled by numerous members of staff, as the public have to jump through hoops to claim benefits.

The government, rather than learning lessons of the failures of the private-sector involvement in the civil service, is looking to extend their profits by privatising more of our work.

They are looking to have the private sector implement the new incapacity benefit reforms and provide our office services.

It is obscene to think of the private sector, where the driving force is profit, can take on work which provides vital services to those on the lowest incomes.

The union is calling for:


The Socialist Party says

The Socialist Party gives full support to these workers. They have been forced to take national strike action 11 times in the last three years. We believe that the actions of the DWP management are not just the result of a particularly bad lot of managers, but primarily results from the New Labour government's drive to reduce the public sector to little more than a provider of profitable contracts to the private sector.
Privatisation and job cuts are the central part of the government programme and yet the trade unions that are affiliated to New Labour still continue to pour money into the Labour Party's coffers. We say that it is time the unions break from New Labour and form their own party. A fighting alternative is needed to represent and stand up for the working-class.
See www.cnwp.org for details of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 27 April 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

S.O.S NHS!

Hewitt 'isolated from real world'


Socialist Party election campaign

Socialist ideas strike a chord


Education feature

Good quality schools for all, not just the few


1926 General Strike

Workers taste power by Peter Taaffe


Environment: Nuclear power

Is Blair leading Britain to nuclear catastrophe?


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Building the campaign


Socialist Party workplace news

Defend jobs and services

Public services not private profit

Taking the profits and running

Rail unions unite to defend pensions


International socialist news and analysis

Fears of revolution force concessions in Nepal

War looms after Colombo bombing in Sri Lanka

No more tears sister

Anti-cuts alternative confirmed in Berlin city elections

High School students threatened with suspension for antiwar activity


 

Home   |   The Socialist 27 April 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Pensions:

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleSet for national strike action

triangleCWU strike ballot to win 'Four Pillars'

triangleCWU members prepare for industrial action at Royal Mail

triangleBosses' pensions robbery

Strike:

triangleArriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleStriking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Labour:

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleTories torn - bin them now

DWP:

triangleFight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system

triangleUN slams Tories for disabled rights ruin

PCS:

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2