Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/936/24631
From The Socialist newspaper, 15 February 2017
PCS union pledges to fight Jobcentre job losses at public meetings
Over 70 people packed into a meeting comprised mainly of workers from the Llanelli benefits office.
The meeting was called to oppose the possible loss of 157 jobs due to the proposed office closure, part of 78 proposed Jobcentre closures across the country.
These job losses would have a horrendous impact on the workers and their families and on the town itself - a town that has already lost most of its relatively well-paid manufacturing and heavy industry jobs. Speakers included Carrie Anne Watkins from the PCS civil service union.
The meeting was angry and did not accept the reasoning of the Tories for this reorganisation. As these are proposals, a consultation period is under way and PCS members were urged to participate. I brought solidarity from the Unison local government committee, representing all 22 local government branches in Wales, and from Llanelli Trades Council and the Socialist Party. I suggested we set up an action committee to organise support for PCS's campaign.
Mark Evans, Llanelli and West Wales Socialist Party
Sheffield meeting photo Alistair Tice (Click to enlarge)
A well-attended public meeting of over 60 PCS members, local residents and supporters, launched the campaign to keep Eastern Avenue Jobcentre in Sheffield open.
Sheffield PCS branch secretary Tom Bishell said that the union branch had successfully fought the proposed closure of two other local offices before but this time the closure plans were nationally driven by the Department for Work and Pensions. Eastern Avenue Jobcentre serves 1,100 claimants every week.
Jen Dunstan from Disabled People Against Cuts and Alistair Tice from Unite Community and the Socialist Party, who both live locally, pledged support, and will be organising a big solidarity protest outside the Jobcentre in the next few weeks.
People already struggling on benefits would have the extra hassle, time and expense (£4 a day bus fares or £10 a week) of having to sign on in the city centre, and the local shops, Post Office and library would all suffer.
To emphasise the point, a local disabled claimant publicly thanked the Eastern Avenue Jobcentre staff for the help they'd given him over the last 18 months in receiving the right benefits and support he was entitled to.
PCS members are considering industrial action and community campaigners intend to build local support to back them up and keep Eastern Avenue Jobcentre open.
Sheffield Socialist Party
Donate to the Socialist Party
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 15 February 2017:
What we think
Council cuts can be fought - and they must be
Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels
Socialist Party news and analysis
March to save #OurNHS
Resist Trump and his rotten policies: why I'm walking out on 'Day X'
Socialist Students: growing, brimming with confidence
Thousands march to defend Glenfield heart centre
Save child refugees, fight the cuts
Prison deaths scandal
International socialist news and analysis
Spain: clear win for left at Podemos conference!
CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria - towards unification
Izquierda Revolucionaria central committee meeting
French presidential election
France: police attack triggers protests
Workplace news and analysis
United fightback needed as entire grade of rail worker is at stake
"Disgraceful" treatment of sacked EHRC workers
Vibrant Picturehouse pickets in continued living wage strike
Ultimatum as Deliveroo drivers down tools in Brighton
Solidarity with Tesco Ireland Valentine's Day strike
PCS union pledges to fight Jobcentre job losses
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Anti-trade union laws used against 'Trees Action' protesters
Support floods in for the Cardiff no-cuts three
The Socialist: 20 years old and more important than ever
Toxic fracking could start in England in 2017
May Day greetings in the Socialist
New Socialist Party press
Socialist readers' comments and reviews
No, Trumpism is nothing like Leninism
Foreign aid's not the problem - it's capitalist thieves
Vivid visual account of the Paris Commune
The Socialist inbox
The Socialist 15 February 2017 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook