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Posted on 4 April 2017 at 14:48 GMT

Union day of action slams benefit sanctions

Sheffield

Benefit sanctions punish people for being unemployed. That's why Unite Community - a trade union section for unemployed people - organised a national day of action against benefit sanctions on 30 March. Around 80 different protests were held around the country.

In Sheffield, we organised a protest at Manor Top, near the Eastern Avenue Jobcentre that is threatened with closure due to the Tory government's cuts to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

If this local job centre is closed, claimants face a six-mile walk or £4 bus fare to sign on in the city centre, leading to even more people getting sanctioned.

The campaign continues with another protest outside the threatened job centre on 6 April, the last day of the official 'consultation' period.

Alistair Tice, Sheffield North Socialist Party

Cardiff

In Cardiff the protest had some lively moments, where Socialist Party members and other activists engaged with members of the public and job centre users, especially those most affected by cuts and sanctions. Many passers-by showed solidarity.

It was good to see some Cardiff Welsh Labour assembly members and councillors turning up. Unfortunately they neglected to engage with the public. It appeared that some of them only showed up for a photo op while voting for the cuts in the council and assembly.

That is why the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is standing in the council elections on 4 May!

João Félix, Cardiff West Socialist Party

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